Society Kills Beauty.

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In 2016 and for the past few years society has been so focused on what size you are, or how much you weigh.

Some facts for you…Anorexia is the third most common long-term illness among teenagers. Teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 26 make up 95% of those who have eating disorders. Anorexia is the most common cause of death (up to 12 times higher than any other condition) among young women ages 15 to 24. The media tends to focus on a physical ideal that most of us can never hope to reach yet many girls and young women feel pressure to live up to an unachievable body image.

Dieting and watching what you eat is far different than developing an eating disorder. An eating disorder is taking things to extreme but in today’s time it’s hard to find that balance. In today’s time whether or not we realize it there is so much pressure to be the “perfect size” or look “perfect”. It’s everywhere. All the popular stores are marketed towards teeny tiny girls but not everyone is made teeny tiny. Some are made with hips and curves and big boobs! It’s a fact! But does that mean that just because some are more curvy then others they shouldn’t get to have cute clothes too?

I love clothes and shoes. I love to shop. But it’s hard to find clothes that are cute and fit comfortably being a plus size girl. Thankfully there are stores out there like Torrid, Layne Bryant & Maurice’s who market plus size women. In my opinion I feel that everyone should make regular to plus size clothes. Who are you to say that a size above a Large isn’t pretty? What gives a fashion designer the right to say that?

Mike Jefferies, the CEO of the popular store, Abercrombie & Fitch in an interview in 2006 when asked why they didn’t go above a size 10 in their jeans for women or above a size large in their shirts said, “I don’t want larger people shopping in my store, I want thin and beautiful people. I don’t want my core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing my clothing. People who wear my clothing should feel like they’re one of the “cool kids”.” He also stated that the only reason A&F offers XL & XXL in men’s sizes is to appeal to large athletes. He also went on to say that communication between hot people is his primary marketing tactic. “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people, they attract other good-looking people. In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids, candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kids with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble with trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody either.”

If I were to meet Mr. Jefferies I would tell him that it’s people like him that promote image issues within the girls and boys of the world today and it’s people like him that disgust me! Who gives him the right to decide who is “cool” and who is not? Who gave him the power to make girls larger than a size 10 feel as if they’re not good enough for his clothes? Yes he might market that and yes people buy his stuff but even if I were to lose enough weight to wear his clothes I would never! Souly because beauty doesn’t have a size! And that is what stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and other places that don’t go about a size 12 need to realize!

Just because you have yourself on a pedestal doesn’t mean that other people have to meet your standard! Who said your standard was so great!?

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Victoria Secret is another store that will never get my business because of their marketing target. They have an ad out right now that’s called “love my body” but as you can see pictured is all skinny girls. Unlike Dove who gets it! Dove gets that women are of all shapes & sizes and they’re still beautiful!

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Then you’ve got Lane Bryant who gets that not all girls are the same size & actually casts plus size models for their plus size clothes & fights back the Victoria Secret “Angel” campaign with their own but they call it “I’m No Angel”. Because they get it! They get that there’s a 10-1 ratio of stores that target skinnier people and they’re one of the few stores that target plus size women.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be a size 10 or a size 5, but it is wrong to make people of other sizes feel outcast for not being that size. Not everyone’s body was made the same & for people to try to make them feel as if they’re not pretty enough or not good enough or not cool enough because they’re not a certain size it’s wrong! I don’t care if you’re a size a 0 or a size 22…YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!!!

I was a cheerleader in high school but I was always the heavier girl. I was taller and I had curves and growing up a lot of my friends were smaller than me. I never got to share clothes with my friends or anything like that and that made me feel bad. I spent a lot of years hating myself for my outward appearance. It wasn’t until recently that I started learning to love my body and appreciate the fact that even though I’m heavier than I want to be I’ve got every reason to be thankful because I’m alive. I’m alive and even though I always didn’t like what I saw in the mirror I never fell victim to extreme weight loss tactics like bulimia or anorexia. I never let society break me that bad. The problem is, not everyone is that strong. Not every curvy girl is ok with that & it’s heart breaking. It’s heart breaking to look at my 9-year-old niece who is a skinny mini and think about her looking in the mirror and hating what she see’s even though she’s beautiful but society tells her she’s not beautiful enough. It breaks my heart to think of my chunky monkey 5-year-old niece and think that one day someone might make fun of her for being chunky and then she starts to hate herself for what she looks like even though she’s beautiful. I know what it’s like to be made fun of for my weight, but I also know what it’s like to have people who love me regardless of what size pants I wear.

If you have little girls in your life, break the society marketing target! Break the “mold” society has set, REVIVE BEAUTY and be sure they know that no matter what size they are that they are beautiful!! We, the older generation are the example, make sure it’s a good one!!beauty

 

 

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Why I’m Thankful for My Ex.

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I’ll never forget the day I met him because it was so out of nowhere. I was pulling through McDonald’s, he was the one that handed me my food. Asked me if I was married, told him no, then he asked for my #. I thought about giving him a fake one for a split second but decided it couldn’t hurt to give him the real thing. 3 days later he and I were talking non stop all through out the day. I fell hard. To me it was like a fairy tale just fell in my lap, he said all the right things, did all the right things, there was only one problem…it was all an act. He had lied from the start. At first it was about his “non-existent” relationship with his ex girlfriend. I refused to believe her when she messaged me about the fact that they were still a thing because he made me feel like I was a bad person for questioning him when he had given me no reason to not trust him. Then it was lies about other girls. I know I can’t be the only girl in the world who has ever doubted the person she’s been with, but the way he would word things, “You keep accusing me of cheating I’m going to start.” or “A guilty dog barks loud, maybe you’re the one who’s cheating you’re just trying to play mind games with me.” It was like that CONSTANTLY. I spent 5 years on & off dealing with that. Some days I was happy & “on top of the world” other days I questioned why I was even still trying with him because he obviously didn’t care.

It was when his mom died that things got really rocky. I was so unhappy but I felt that if I broke up with him on top of his mom passing away then that made me the worst person in the history of bad people. So I stayed. Even after he cussed me for cutting my hair, wearing too much make up or wearing a shirt he didn’t like. I stayed through his drunken nights out with friends while I was at home waiting on his text letting me know he was ok, that never came need I mind you. I stayed because my loyalty was with him even though his wasn’t with me. I stayed because in my mind I thought I loved him we had just hit a slump and I needed to do something different. I stayed because it didn’t make sense to walk away after we had been together for so long.

It hit me that it was time to leave whenever we were celebrating my birthday the year before we broke up. We went to church that morning with my parents and my sister & her boyfriend met us for lunch. I was trying to decide what I wanted and I mentioned what I usually got from this restaurant or something different. He looked at the price of the something different and made the comment that he wasn’t made of money. It was my mom who spoke up and said that she and my dad were paying for mine since it was my birthday and I could get whatever I wanted. We ordered and the food was getting ready to come out and my mom asked my dad to say the blessing, it was during the blessing where my mom leaned over and put her arm around me and whispered in my ear, “I pray that you find the strength to walk away and find someone who deserves you.” At first I was shocked because he was sitting right next to me, what if he heard her? Would we argue on my birthday? Then the more I thought about it, she was just doing her job as my mom. Her job is to protect me from what she knows isn’t good for me. She knew, before I knew, that I wasn’t in the right relationship. It took me almost a year after that before I left.

We had been sick, I got better before him because I had been taking medicine. I had something to do that day for Jamberry, at the time I was selling them. He was angry that I couldn’t cancel and come “take care of him”, I tried to explain that I’d had this planned for a month now and I’d come to him as soon as it was over but that wasn’t good enough. He cussed me for everything I was worth and ended up telling me not to come over whenever I got done. I knew that game. I knew it all too well, it was a lose..lose game for me. If I didn’t come he’d call and cuss me out again, if I did go he’d treat me like crap when I got there for the first hour and then it was fine. So after I got done with the Jamberry thing I went to his house. Little did I know he wasn’t that sick. He wasn’t there. So I text him, he was “at his friend’s house” right down the road and he’d “be right home”. 1 hour later…he pulls in, he’d been drinking. Really? It was like 3 in the afternoon. So of course we got in an argument. It was then and there that it clicked. I was in church. I was doing better. I know the rules about being “unequally yoked”. So I told him that I was unhappy (which wasn’t a lie) and I had been that way for a while and I needed some space. He began to cry. It was an act, he could make himself cry on cue I had seen him do it to guilt trip his grandma. It was all I could not to take back my words and stay but I knew I’d be stuck forever. So I stood my ground. I told him that it wasn’t because of anyone else it was because of me. We wanted different things at this point in our lives and I couldn’t do it anymore. I got in my car and I left. The next few days were hard, not because I missed him, but because he was still texting and calling me and I was having to ignore the calls and text him back telling him that I didn’t want to talk. The worst part was when his grandma called me and left me a message telling me how depressed he was. I almost believed her and felt bad for him and called him but that evening I saw him at Wal-Mart laughing with his friends and buying beer. Luckily he didn’t see me.

I write all this to give you a back story so you can understand where I’m at today. Today I am in a God centered, truly happy, truly loving relationship. Matt is everything I need and everything I could have asked for and more in a man. He loves God, he prays for me, he loves me, he is my God sent soul mate. A lot of girls tend to settle for a guy because they’ve been together so long or they’re tired of waiting, I’m writing this to tell you to NEVER SETTLE!! Wait for as long as it takes. Trust God. Trust God to the fullest because when it’s His timing it’s the best! Matt and I had dated back in 2007-2008 but it wasn’t God’s timing and it wasn’t the “best”. But this time, we’re both focused on God and what He wants for our lives and it’s truly amazing!

I’m a firm believer in the saying “God has a reason for everything”. I think the reason for being in such a bad relationship is so when I finally opened my eyes and surrendered to the Lord and waited on Him, He was able to mend my heart and open it to Matt. A lot of people get discouraged and hopeless after a relationship that they were sure was “the one” fails but I’m living proof that there is always hope in the Lord. Even without a physical someone to have a relationship with you are never alone. God is always there. Do I hate my ex? No. Because he really didn’t break my heart, I just thought he had. When I really sat down and thought about it, he wasn’t a blessing, he was a lesson from God on how I don’t want to be treated and how I shouldn’t let myself be treated. So yes, call me crazy but I am thankful for my ex, thankful that God was able to use him to teach me that lesson that needed to be learned. Because without it I wouldn’t be able to appreciate and love Matt for all he is.

 

Imperfect & Christian.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6, King James Version

I got saved when I was 16 years old at the altar at Freedom Baptist Church, where I still attend today. Now as a 26-year-old woman I realize that there is no such thing as a “perfect” Christian. We all sin. Even after we’re saved we still sin. Does that mean that you are a “bad” Christian? No. It just means that you are human. Because even though you are saved the devil still exists. Can he stop you from going to Heaven? No, because Jesus has your soul. But can he attack you with everything he has to steal your peace & joy? Yes, you better believe it.

A lot of people like to compare themselves to other Christians. Not me. I’m not worried about what anyone else is doing. I’m not following other Christians. I’m following Jesus. That’s what it’s about. Yes, you should have Christian friends, it does make your walk with Him easier to have a solid support system, but just because you’re not like the person who sits behind you at church or the person who sits a few seats over doesn’t mean they’re anymore Christian that you are.

Everyone is at a different place in their walk with God, the most important thing about it is that you have a walk with God.

Just a few years ago, I guess I was in my early twenties, maybe as young as 19, I thought that going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night & Wednesday night was enough. I never opened by Bible during the week. It wasn’t until last year that I learned the importance of a daily devotional, Bible Study or just reading God’s word daily. The Bible is road map to life, written by man inspired by God. It’s got love stories, adventure, wisdom, everything. But most importantly it tells the story of how God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins so that all we had to do was call on His name and not spend an eternity in Hell, and THAT is the ULTIMATE love story, why wouldn’t you want to read it? The biggest thing that I realized was how to just how to spend time with God in His word, daily. I found an app with Bible studies and it’s geared towards women..She Reads Truth, they have it for android and apple, I have it downloaded on my iPad & it’s awesome. There’s different studies that it offers, some are free but even the ones you pay for are cheap, I’m talking $1.99-$2.99 cheap, a few weeks ago I did a study on Ruth then I did one on the Fruit of the Spirit, and currently I’m doing one on Proverbs. They’re simple I know there are more complex studies out there and eventually I’ll get to those I’m sure, but even though I have been saved for 10 years I am new to the whole Bible studying thing. Do I wish that I would have started earlier? Yes of course, it probably would have saved me from some bad decisions and a lot of heartache these past 10 years but I believe that there’s a reason for everything and if it wouldn’t have been for everything I’ve been through these past 10 years I wouldn’t be so humble in the sense of Jesus now.

I love the Lord and I’m thankful for the day I called on Him to save me and I love His word. It’s exciting. It’s joyful. It’s wonderful to be able to go to my car on my lunch break some days and read a few verses and come back from lunch being completely uplifted rather than down and heavy burdened. Uplifted and joyful is how all Christians should live. A lot of non believers think Christian’s are crazy and have to follow all kinds of rules so that’s why they’re unhappy..but that’s where they’re wrong. The Bible isn’t a “rule book” it’s a guide, once saved you don’t WANT to live like the world anymore, you WANT to please God with your life, and if a Christian is walking around sad-faced and doom & gloom all the time then they’re doing it wrong! God wants you to live! He wants you to be happy and have fun! Yes He wants you to follow the path He set, which is considered the “straight & narrow” & yes we are promised tribulations the whole way, but like The Crabb Family sings in “Through the Fire”, “He never promised that the cross would not get heavy and the hill would not be hard to climb, He never offered our victories without fighting but He said help would always come in time, just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision and the adversary says give in, just hold on…our Lord will show up and He will take your through the fire again.”

So yes, tribulations will come and bad days will happen…but that doesn’t mean you have to be without joy. Focus on your God-given purpose. Live in the Spirit and love life and always remember that even on your worst day you’re still a good Christian because there is no such thing as a perfect Christian. Everyone faces trials and tribulations as a child of God, if someone is claiming to not have trials and tribulations they should question their salvation or whether or not they’re in the will of God, because the devil won’t bother you as long as you’re doing what he wants you to do, it’s when you start focusing on God and what He wants you to do that makes the devil mad.

 

Bible Journaling for a Beginner

So I’ve been seeing it on Pinterest and have been talking about wanting to get a journaling Bible for MONTHS..& finally, after a bad week of work my fiance decided to surprise me with a pick me up..a brand new journaling Bible & colored pencils! 😍

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Nice right? So tonight was his first time at the Men’s Bible Study at our church & I told him while he was there I’d take a go at Bible journaling. I have just finished up a 12 day study on the She Reads Truth App called “Fruit of the Spirit”, & it was what my pastor preached on this past Sunday so I decided to do my drawing in Galatians. Now, I’m not a drawer but I wanted to do some fruit & then write the ones in the verses around it..I’ve been googling and searching Pinterest for tutorials on how to draw for 2 days now. I’m seriously artisticly challenged.

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This was my “rough drafts”.

Since I love the Bible Matt surprised me with I didn’t want to mess it up so I practiced a lot! But I also read another blog on “Bible Journaling for the non drawers” & one part really stuck with me..she said “regardless of if it’s perfect or not..don’t pick it apart. Be proud of what you’ve done while in God’s word.”

I sat down at our computer desk while my dad had the laptop out of the way.

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My blank canvas. I prayed before I started and then went to work.

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I put out my colored pencils so I could see all my options & I pulled up my She Reads Truth App on my iPad.

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& then I went to work. The good thing about my colored pencils is they’re able to be erased, so if it was ugly the 1st try I could try again. I just had fun. I didn’t rush & I was in God’s word more so then a quick devotion excerpt or a quick morning study. & that’s pleasing to not only God..but me. I enjoyed it, it was relaxing. Is it perfect? No. Could it be better? Yes. But I’m pleased with it & it makes me look forward to doing another page and another page & soon have something unique on every page of my study Bible. 🙂

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness temperance: against such there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23

Marriage…just a piece of paper?

As we enter May & we’re 4 months and 28 days away from walking down the aisle, I start to think about why we’re getting married, other than the obvious, we love each other…

I’ve heard over the years a lot of people that they would never get married because that means they’re tied down to one person for the rest of their life, or if they’ve been together a while they say they won’t get married because it wouldn’t change anything, it’s just a piece of paper. So the more I think about the more I want to share my thoughts with everyone else.

Now as a girl, we don’t always get asked when we’re ready (or when we think we’re ready), some times it takes the guy a little bit longer than we’d like for them to actually get on the same page as us. Like for example, me & Matt…we started dating in August of 2014 on the 11th & I was ready for him to ask me to marry him in September. (lol) No seriously, if he would have asked me on September 1st I would have said yes, without a doubt, but he didn’t ask me in September, he asked me in February, even though my mom thought it was coming at Christmas (lol), but I asked him, “What made you know you were ready to ask me to marry you?” His response, “I prayed about, I didn’t know I was going to ask when I did until I was already asking.” Apparently, he had wanted some “grand proposal” but ended up asking me in my living room when it was just us, “He just knew”. & that is how it works sometimes, and sometimes the girl’s are the ones that are “unsure” until the question is being asked or they find out later on, hopefully before the wedding date, that it’s not the right thing.

The definition of marriage is, “An intimate and complementing union between a man and a woman in which the two become one physically, in the whole of life. The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship of the Godhead and to serve him. Although the fall has marred the divine purpose and function of marriage, this definition reflects the God-ordained ideal for marriage from the beginning.”(http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/marriage/)

As my preacher puts it, when you get married you are no longer two different people, you are now one. Whatever he does affects her, whatever she does affects him, whatever they do affect their children and so forth. And according to the Bible it is a union between a man & a woman. (not homophobic, just not in support of it)

Marriage was designed to mirror our Creator’s unconditional love for us. It’s a love that will always be there and will never leave us or forsake us. When a man and woman love one another with that unconditional love, contentment follows and joy abounds.

That is why marriage is MORE than “just a piece of paper”, it’s a union of a man & a woman becoming ONE person in front of God & everyone. It’s saying publicly that “We have prayed for God’s guidance to one another and God’s will shall be done in our marriage.” It’s taking a public vow to love one another for the rest of your lives, no matter what comes, sickness, health, hard times, good times, WHATEVER, NO MATTER WHAT, you are stuck with each other.It’s the beginning of a lifelong commitment, it provides an opportunity for you and your spouse to grow in selflessness, it’s a bond that gives you a life partner, a teammate. Just a simple dating, boyfriend & girlfriend relationship doesn’t speak the volumes that marriage does.

Now I’m not ignorant, I know that a lot of people who get married don’t value it like that but that’s how it should be. Marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. A lot of young people get married quickly just so they can have a big wedding and a big party, but that’s not what it’s about. If you just want the wedding and the party you don’t need to be getting married.