Affirmation 8/23/16

You’ve seen it every day for almost three months. Maybe it’s lost its potency, so please pay attention. I’m glad you’re here. You are making a difference. You have a voice worthy of being heard. Don’t let people make you feel differently. You have value. Your ideas, words, emotions, thoughts, they’re real and valuable. I’m glad you’re here. There are people in your life who look forward to seeing you, hearing from you. I’m glad you’re here. Your heart and mind matter. I’m glad you’re here. You can do this.

I’m so glad you’re here.

Affirmation 7/30/16

The world is hard. The world is dark. Remember the world is beautiful. It’s filled with so many tiny and huge beauties. You are among those beauties. Continue to be light in the world. Continue to be the light that you are in so much darkness. You’re valuable. You have boundless worth.

I’m glad you’re here.

Adventure in “I’m Glad You’re Here”

Deep breath. Breathing in calm. Breathing out panic. Fill every space with calm. You can do this. I’m glad you’re here.

A few months ago, I started giving myself an affirmation every day. I could feel myself getting better before I started this habit, but wanted to give myself an extra push. I didn’t write them down. I wish I had. But at the beginning of June I started to. I started sharing them on Facebook, because I know I’m not the only one who needs them. Not because my words have so much power, but because darkness does. We could all use more light.

Unfortunately, with the public posting comes a price. It goes uncredited. This particular one was addressed in the comments later, but on something like this people don’t read comments. The person who shares gets credit for the words. I’ve seen other posts going up that include the phrase, “I’m glad you’re here.” It isn’t to say I doubt that they are glad you’re here. But louder voices are taking credit for things I’m doing. I’ve lived my whole life afraid to speak up for myself, and some of it feels like if I say something then it negates the point of thinking positively and affirming anything. But my friend Erica, a beautiful and powerful poet, reminded me, “Standing up for yourself is not defeating the purpose of affirmations. It’s living up to them.” So I’m bringing the posts here as a means to protect myself from things like this.

Here is a recap.

June 1, 2016
You are stronger than you realize.

June 2, 2016
Perhaps this isn’t the life you always dreamed or imagined, but you are here. I’m glad you are here.

June 3, 2016
You are not alone in this.

June 4, 2016
People think the worst thing in life is ending up alone. It’s not. It’s ending up with people who make you feel alone. You are not alone. People are on your side. I am on your side. I’m glad you’re here.

June 5, 2016
Today may not feel like the greatest day. Breathe calmly and deeply. There’s space for you in this world. Plenty of space. Breathe deep. You can do this. I’m glad you’re here.

June 6, 2016
Quit beating yourself up. You won’t take it from anyone else, so don’t take it from yourself. I won’t stand for it. Take a step back and treat yourself well. Breathe. Pulse. You can do this. I’m cheering for you. I’m glad you’re here.

June 7, 2016
You are not your past. You are not yesterday. Today you are here, and I’m so glad. It’s a fresh start. You’re strong. You can do it. We can do this together. I’m glad you’re here.

June 8, 2016
You are the sum of your whole being. You are not made up of the things you’ve been told you should not like. You are made up of tiny details. You are the sum of your cells. I love you down to every cell. Love yourself down to every cell. Breathe deep into today. The world has room for you. I’m glad you’re here.

June 9, 2016
You matter. What you have to offer the world matters. You are a gift, and I am so glad to know you. Don’t waste today on self-pity. Trust yourself. You can do this. We can do this. I’m glad you’re here.

June 10, 2016
It’s a new day, and you are here. I’m so very glad. You have the strength and the power to get through today. That power is in your hands. I refuse to give up, because I haven’t exhausted every possible avenue. I refuse to let you give up. We can all do this together.

June 11, 2016
Surround yourself today with what it is you need. Find ways to fill your day with peace and rest and calm. Breathe deep. It’s a clean, new day. Start fresh with yourself and watch it move into those around you. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 12, 2016
Friend, today may not be your favorite day, maybe you don’t want to face it at all. Breathe deep. Breathe calm. Choose to participate fully in today. Today will be, and may already be, a day to remember. We can do it together. I’m glad you’re here.

June 13, 2016
There’s no point pretending the world isn’t a dark, broken, and hurting place. Tragic and terrible things are happening all around us, to us. We have the opportunity every day to choose to love those around us. We can create safe spaces for each other. Not just our own “kind,” but all of humanity. We can love each other. We can make that choice toward the safety of others. The world is dark. Choose to be light. I’m glad you’re here.

Today, much like each of you, is beautiful. We can do this.  I’m glad you’re here.

June 14. 2016
D
eep breath. Feel the beating of your own heart. Tiny movements hold you up, keeping you alive. Something so small is so sustaining. You are here because of tiny motion inside of your frame. Breathe into that quiet rhythm. Take it with you. Be tiny movements. We can help sustain. We can do it together. I’m glad you’re here.

June 15, 2016
Yesterday was not my best day, but today is brand new. It may be storming outside, or maybe even inside, but I would encourage you to take the time to find your calm. Deep breath. Slow, even breaths. Right your ship. Today is yours, and I know you can handle it. You can find calm today. You can find success today. Remember tiny things. Tiny successes. Tiny victories. You have so many of those in a day that the one thing you see as a failure. Tiny things. Deep breath. I’m glad you’re here.

June 16, 2016
Deep breath, Slow, even breaths. Even if it felt yesterday like things were crumbling around you, this is a new day. You are not the same person you were yesterday. Breathe in calm. Breathe out fear and nervousness. Remember there are so many wonderful things in this world. Good things rarely make the news, but they are everywhere. I know because you’re here, and I’m so glad.

June 17, 2016
You are strong. You are capable. You are more than just enough. You have the power to make this day more than just something you muddle through for you and those around you. Be light in so much darkness. We can do this together. I’m glad you’re here.

June 18, 2016
Today is big enough to hold you. The world is wide enough to carry you. We can carry each other. You can do this today. I’m glad you’re here.

June 19, 2016
Quite frankly, yesterday was far from my best day. But I’m still here. It might not have been good for you either. But you’re still here. You’re strong and powerful enough to live, not just survive. You are not yesterday’s pain or struggles. You can live on beyond yesterday. You’re doing it now. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 20, 2016
You may have had to endure a lot of negative opinions of yourself from other people and from yourself. I hope you haven’t. Know though that you are incredible. You are strong and capable. Do not let your heart and mind be fed by the lies you’ve heard or told yourself. You are worth so much to this world. You are invaluable. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 21, 2016
As the rhythm of life beats on today know that your own pulse is strong. You beat and move in this world with a strength in your heart to take on whatever comes your way. You are powerful. You can handle today. There are people around you who love and support you. You are not alone. We can do this together. Deep breath. Strong heart. Clear mind. I’m glad you’re here.

June 22, 2016
The world is a beautiful place. We forget because there’s so much darkness in it, but I know it is. I know it is because you’re here. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 23, 2016
Take time today to take stock of tiny things. All of the little things about your world, about the world, about yourself that you love and bring you peace and happiness. There’s so much goodness in the world, including you. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 24, 2016
Today is fresh and new and beautiful, and so are you. Be content and calm with both. I’m glad you’re here.

June 25, 2016
Deep breath. Let go of the chaos and breathe in today’s calm as you can. You are capable of handling all life has for you today. I know you can. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 26, 2016
You are bigger and more powerful than the negativity of today. Be a light in so much darkness as I know you are already being. I’m glad you’re here.

June 27, 2016
Let got of the pains of yesterday. Tomorrow will get here when it gets here. All you have is right now. And this is the most now it has ever been. Do everything you possibly can with it, and do your best. Be kind. I’m so glad you’re here.

June 28, 2016
You are strong. You are brave. You are capable. You are valuable. And you are far more than enough. Today welcomes you. You are incredible. Do incredible things. I know you can. I’m glad you’re here.

June 29, 2016
Do your best today in all of the chaos to breathe in calm. It has to exist somewhere. Seek it out in every small space. This is what you have. Make the most of it. I’m glad you’re here.

June 30, 2016
Deep breath. While we seek out the love and approval of others so diligently, we forget to find that in ourselves. Remember to love yourself, approve of yourself. Take stock of all of the beauty inside you, because there is so much. Embrace it. I love you, and I’m so glad you’re here.

July 1, 2016
Deep breath. Maybe a few. Breathe in peace and calm, breathe out chaos and pain. Today take time to forgive yourself of all of your so-called wrongs and all of your mistakes. The past does not own you or define you. Let go of your anger with others, but even more, let go of your anger with yourself. You are valuable and do not need to be held down by darkness. Deep breath, for good measure. You can do this. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 2, 2016
Friend, the world is wide enough for you today. Breathe deep and expand into it. Find your spaces and settle in. You belong, and I’m so glad you’re here. Settle yourself into new spaces. Cozy up to who you are and embrace that joy.  I’m glad you’re here.

July 3, 2016
Take time to do more than notice calm and joy today. Breathe it in. Turn the breath of calm and joy into what oxygenates your blood and makes your heart beat. Let each pulse be filled with blood and breath of calm, joy. I’m glad you’re here.

July 4, 2016
Hi, friend. You are powerful. You are bold. You are strong. You are beautiful. All in greater measure than you realize. Whatever today has for you, I know you can handle, even when you don’t want to. Seek out the good in today and let that fill you. I’m glad you’re here.

July 5, 2016
You are more than the lies you’re told about you. The lies from others. The lies from inside you. You are more than strong enough. You are more than capable enough. You are more than brave enough. You are more than enough. I’m glad you’re here.

July 6, 2016
Deep breath. Whatever today might have for you, good, bad, terrifying, beautiful, you are ideally equipped to deal with it. Only you. Everything about you. Your anxiety is ideal. Your fear is ideal. Your strength is ideal. Your mind is ideal. All that you are is composed ideally for your life. You’re beautiful that way. You can do this. We can do this–together. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 7, 2016
This is important, so pay attention. You are not alone. Even if you are by yourself, remember that you are not alone. Everyone has pain and struggles. Some people have similar pain and struggles to you, someone in your life, someone across the world. You are not alone. You can handle this. You can conquer this. WE can conquer this. We’re in this together. I’m glad you’re here.

July 8, 2016
Friend, I’m sorry you have to live in such a dark world. That we live in a place where our brothers and sisters are not safe. Where you are not safe. Remember that you are strong. Remember that you are powerful. We are in this together. Every single one of us. Be a light in so much darkness. You are capable, and I’m happy to stand beside each one of you. I’m glad you’re here.

July 9, 2016
Everything is weird. Everything is hard. Everything is confusing. But I assure, all that you’re working toward, fighting for, living for, that you are worth it. It’s all worth it. Keep fighting. I’m glad you’re here.

July 10, 2016
Deep breath. Slow deep breath. The world is wide enough to cradle you today. Find your space and cozy in. You have a place here. You can handle today. You’ve done it thousands of times before. This is just one more. You can do it. We can do it together. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 11, 2016
Deep breath. Release the strain you’ve put on yourself. Release the darkness that you’ve let surround you. You’re only competition in life is you. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday and grow. You can handle today. Who you are today is exactly built to handle today. Yesterday, you weren’t ready for it. You can do today. I’m glad you’re here.

July 12, 2016
Yesterday is over. You put it to bed hours ago. It’s behind you, and it’s not who you are. Not anymore. You are right now. You are this moment. Don’t worry about the last one or the next one. All you have is this one. Enjoy it. I’m glad you’re here.

July 13, 2016
Friend, breathe deep. Take in the particles of the past. Breathe in Lincoln, Hamilton, Washington, Mother Theresa, Jefferson, Parks, you. Breathe it all out, because that’s over. The past is not what you are made of. Learn from it. Shut out the lies and darkness it fed you and start again. It’s clear and new and made to hold you. I’m glad you’re here.

July 14, 2016
Slow, even breaths. Take them in with calm and release chaos. Let it go as you can. You won’t get rid of all of it. You won’t reasonably clear up your anxiety or your depression or your PTSD or your bi-polar disorder. Those things exist. Accept them and know that you are strong. You’ve lived so many days with these things and pains in you. Positivity won’t fix it, but a little reframing can help. Take a beat today to reframe. You deserve the chance to fully examine your thoughts. You’re worth it. You can handle today. I’m glad you’re here.

July 15, 2016
You are powerful. You are capable. You are strong. You are valuable. You are not your circumstance. You are not your past. You are not the lies in your head. You are more. You are enough.

July 16, 2016
Breathe in strength, calm, and power. Breathe out the chaos and trouble of yesterday. Today is new and it’s yours to make what you will. It may not be ideal, but it’s your choice how you deal with it. You are in control of you. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 17, 2016
You are strong. You are powerful. You are capable. You are smart. You are exactly suited for what today has in store for you. Breathe in calm and let it fill your lungs. Let the calm-infused oxygen pass through your blood and make its way to your heart. Let it pump to your hands, your toes, your legs, your brain. Let your body be filled with calm. You can do this. I’m glad you’re here.

July 18, 2016
You are not alone. You are not alone in this. We live in this hurting world together. Whether you are by yourself or surrounded by people, it can feel lonely. It can. Being on your own does not make you alone. We’re in this together, every single one of us. You’re not alone. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 19, 2016
Deep breath. Surround yourself with what brings you joy and peace. Find people and conversations that bring you calm and rest. Life is some times terrible. Don’t let every moment feel that way. You are in charge of you. Don’t let the ideas of others dictate who you are and how you feel. You are in charge of you. You are powerful. You are capable. You are strong. You are in charge of you. I’m so glad you’re here.

July 20, 2016
Friend, deep breath. You are free. You are powerful. You are strong. You are capable. You are the one that decides who you are, no one else. Let your strength and freedom of yourself be your definition, not the ideas and lies of anyone else. No one dictates who you are, but you. You are free to make changes. You are free to move on from your past. You are powerful, strong, and capable to move on from your past. Let it go. You are free. I’m glad you’re here.

July 21, 2016
You are more than enough. You are not the lies you’ve heard or told yourself. You are not your past. You are right here, right now. You are more than enough. Enjoy every moment. Be in each moment. A minute from now is not the problem of present you. You are right now. You are more than enough. I’m glad you’re here.

July 22, 2016
Deep breath. You are capable. You are bold. You are strong. You are resilient. Your life is not dictated by the outcomes of circumstances. Your life is your choices and your reactions. Your contentment is not based on the things around you. Contentment is your choice. Claim it. Breathe in peace. Breathe out panic. You can handle today. I’m glad you’re here.

July 23, 2016
You, much like the new day, are fresh and beautiful. Claim this day as your own. You’ve got this. I’m glad you’re here.

July 24, 2016
It may be the end of the day, but know that you’ve made it this far. You did it. Deep breath as you calm yourself into the night’s rest. Let go of your worries and challenges today. Focus on what beauty you saw, what good you learn, and let yourself find strength and renewal for the day to come. I’m glad you’re here.

July 25 ,2016
Deep breath. You are capable. You are capable. You are capable. You are capable.You are equipped and able to handle whatever today offers you. You are capable. Breathe in deep. Fill your body with calm. Breathe out the worry you’ve already stacked on top of yourself. You are capable. I’m glad you’re here.

July 26, 2016
Today is wide enough for you. The world is wide enough for you. Find your space and stretch out. Let yourself be content in your space. You are supposed to be here. I’m glad you’re here.

July 27, 2016
You have more power in you than you understand. Breathe into your strength and your power. Breathe deep into those spaces that you forgot you had stored up for when you needed it most. Know that all you need is always there. You are more powerful than you know. You can handle today and whatever it sends to you. I’m glad you’re here.

Now, get out there are show the world how powerful you are! I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m glad you’re here.13517594_706806054379_842601765644558337_o

Adventure in My I.D.

This Saturday I spent 14 hours with over 200 middle school and high school girls for an event showing and teaching the girls all about where their value comes from and that they are important in a world that wants them to believe they are not. That they are loved. It’s an amazing thing.

First a crazy story.

For weeks leading up to What’s Your I.D.2012 women in the community were praying for and writing letters to the girls that would be there that Saturday. I volunteered late during the week of the event. The opportunity to fill in gaps where I was needed was calling to me. I arrived Saturday morning and was greeted with the opportunity to write letters to girls who had registered last minute or were registering as they arrived.

I prayed for the girls and began writing my letters. Many of my letters were reminding the girls not just that they are loved by God and the women around them, but that they are valuable. They aren’t just valuable; they are being used by God at this very moment. He is constantly shaping them. I went about my day, and filled in where I was needed.

Before dinner that night Leah shared the Gospel with the girls. She had asked anyone who felt comfortable praying with the girls who came forward after the Gospel was shared to go into the next room and pray with them. I went to the room as the girls left and was met with six girls. They shared their names with me, but were not very talkative. One girl only held up her name tag. I realized, as they told me their names, that these girls were almost all of the girls I wrote letters to that morning. I prayed over them knowing that every part of that moment was orchestrated by God’s plan.

At the after party the girls were singing karaoke. I learned at the party the girl who had only held up her name tag had not said anything to anyone all day. So when her name was called for karaoke I squealed! I couldn’t believe it. She went up to the stage and sang her song. Her voice could hardly be heard, and then it was almost lost entirely. Because moments later about 25 girls rushed the stage. They stood in front of the stage singing and screaming along with this shy little lamb. I saw the girl begin to smile for the first time all day as these girls showed her more support than they showed anyone else as she made such a bold move.

It was all just so wacky. These girls being built into and up by so many women in the community.

But then came the bad parts for me.

While I spent 14 hours with over 200 middle school and high school girls, I also spent the day with an unknown number of women. Women with opinions. Women who say one thing to the girls and another to each other. Women who, well…

On several occasions I found myself surrounded by conversations with different groups of women. On more than one of those occasions these groups of women began discussing a woman’s role. And then it happened. As it always happens. Just like the pastor who at a wedding said if you aren’t married you aren’t fulfilling God’s will for your life these women said that if you aren’t serving a man and tending to his needs you aren’t fulfilling God’s plan for all women. And not just in general if you aren’t serving. You have to be serving a man. And not just humanity. A woman’s role is to serve one man.

I can’t get over this mentality. One, because I know a good number of amazing women who have never married, and many who never will and are constantly serving God. One might say they’re doing more for the Kingdom because they aren’t married. They’re all very dedicated women. Dedicated to any cause. And while I’m sure they aren’t opposed to marriage, I know that at least a few of them would admit that would serve as a distraction from Kingdom thinking rather than a benefit to Kingdom thinking. Some of the most amazing women I’ve ever known have never been married. And they aren’t just amazing because of that or because they’re strong or any of that. It’s because they’re focus on Christ is so strong. They truly find their value in Christ.

The second reason I can’t get over it is because it hurts me. It made me physically ill a few times Saturday. Because THAT is the sort of thing Satan creeps into my mind. Many, if not most, of my friends are married, and often being around them makes me feel like a failure. Not because of them, but because of the lies we’re fed. And in steps Satan with words from other women. Women who are working toward the same end I am. Women telling me that not being married and serving a man means I’m not doing God’s work. And my brain screams they’re wrong, and there’s Satan whispering in the gasps for breath that they’re right. And I hear him. And it starts to sink in. And I get sick.

If you aren’t taking care of children, and if you don’t have children of your own to take care of for your man you aren’t fulfilling God’s will for your life. How is it all of these other people seem to know exactly what God’s will for my life is? How could they conceivably know that? I think what they mean to say is, “This is where I find my fulfillment, and I have to believe that if it’s true for me it’s true for everyone.” And I feel shame because now I’m two steps behind God’s will for my life.