Tuesday, September 13, 2016

LIFE IS LIKE A PAIR OF RIPPED JEANS

"Poor girl...we need to buy her some new clothes", she said.

"No grandma, that's the style now. They are supposed to be that way", I said.

"She probably can't afford any new trousers", she said.

"Rips are cool grandma. It's hard to explain", I said.

This conversation was a lost cause. It was a true, real-life example of an extreme generation gap.

Today, ripped jeans are fashionable.

In fact, the more rips, the merrier.

Now, they are even labeled "destroyed" on the tags.

Yes, that means they were manufactured to be torn up...on purpose,

And yes, that's identified as cool for many of us.

For my grandma, on the other hand, ...well in her eyes, it is not cool at all.

Instead, it's a public declaration of being homeless,

An automatic target for pity,

And an outward cry of total desperation,

All at once.

Still to this day, when I think about that conversation we had about my friend's jeans, I laugh every time.

It didn't matter what I said, she would never understand,

And you know what, this scenario reminds me a lot of life.

Yes, life. Very broadly but also very specifically.

Just like ripped jeans, life can also be very torn up.

It can seem destroyed actually.

It can appear to be falling apart.

Yet, somehow it is still put together.

Life? ..Put together?..

Yes, and sometimes it's hard to explain how it can possibly be restored to someone who doesn't understand how the pain could ever make sense.

Well, here's how.

God created us, knowing that we would be broken and torn.

Originally we were not manufactured to be that way, in the beginning,

But when sin entered the world, so did pain, brokenness, rips and tears.

Yet, God still managed to turn it all into something beautiful.

Through Jesus.

Jesus came to restore the brokenness of the world.

That doesn't mean that He made the mess just go away when He sacrificed Himself for us.

No, the world is still very torn and full of sin,

And yes, horrible things still happen everyday,

But Jesus made a way to see it all differently, from a new perspective.

He made it so that God would see His perfection, rather than our destruction.

He made it so that we could be restored and beautiful once again.

Just like a pair of wrecked jeans are still put together to form a nice outfit,

so our lives are just walking wrecks, still put together through Jesus to form beauty.

Those who don't know Jesus, won't get it at first,

Just like my grandma didn't understand the jeans.

Many will look around and view life as meaningless mess,

With ultimately no tangible source of hope, whether in life or death.

Until, one moment of truth, when they meet Jesus for themselves.

That one moment when they open their eyes to see that maybe it was meant to be that way,

And maybe it will make sense someday,

And maybe God has a bigger plan to restore humanity into something greater.

This involves reinventing the old plain law, and bringing something new and exciting,

Bringing Jesus.

Jesus read our tags. He knew we were destroyed,

But He saw that we were worth buying, even at the cost of His own life.

He proved that just because something is broken, doesn't mean it can't be made beautiful.

Even though our lives are ripped up, falling apart, complete messes, Jesus can restore them still and call them worthy of loving,

Worthy of using for a greater purpose.

Without Jesus we are just a pair of ripped up jeans, with with a baggy old stained T-shirt, crocs, and a cowboy hat.

It just doesn't work.

With Jesus we are a pair of ripped jeans with a trendy top, perfectly rugged boots, and sweet shades.

It's a match made in heaven and in the end it's all put together, just right.

The big picture is the full story, the full outfit, not just the torn up parts,

But something about the tears adds to the story anyway and it wouldn't end up the same without them there.

After all is said and done, a life with Jesus, including the brokenness and all, will end up beautiful.

It will end in eternal life and everlasting glory.

So what will you do?

Will you let your life be paired with the hope of Jesus?

Or will you pair it with a world of hopelessness?

If you don't know anything about Jesus, you are probably reading this and responding a lot like my grandma did.

It's hard to grasp how everything is coming together to form one big story of restoration.

In all actuality, I didn't grasp it as well either until last week.

Before last week, I had a few rips here and there in my life,

A few little mishaps,

But last week, I acquired a gaping hole in the right knee.

I experienced the most brokenness I've ever felt.

Everything I thought was good in my life, fell apart.

I labeled it as finally hitting rock bottom.

I was at the lowest point I'd ever been in,

But of course, here I am writing this blog, with the hole still there,

And I'm here to tell you that just because it's there, doesn't mean I have to give up hope and throw my life away.

As a matter of fact, I've also experienced more hope this week than I've ever had,

Hope in Jesus.

Hope that this hole is here for a reason and that it will be made beautiful in it's time,

Because that's just what Jesus does, because He is good.

There is a good plan for all of us, despite the hardships and trials.

This is how we can still have joy, even when we can't see why hard times are happening.

In desperation we also learn a lot about what or who we are depending on.

Now I can say I have surrendered what I was holding on to and,

All I want is Jesus,

All I need is Jesus,

Every second of every hour of every day.

I want to pray to Him, sing to Him, and live intentionally for Him every day that I'm alive,

And when my life is at it's end, I'll look back on this time and I'll say two things.

For one, I'll say "What in the world was I thinking wearing jeans with holes in them, that was seriously the strangest trend this world has ever created".

Two, I'll say "Wow I thought my life was messed up when I was 21, but you should see it now, it's literally torn up to shreds. One thing hasn't changed though, and that is the fact that Jesus was there through every single tear and He's the One who brought me through it all."

To my defense, writing an analogy comparing the gospel to a pair of jeans, isn't the easiest thing to explain.

So cut me some slack here,

But hopefully it made some sense and you weren't blankly staring the whole time like my grandma did during our conversation.

Instead, I just hope you'll remember Jesus throughout your day and never forget the gospel.

It's crazy how even the most simple things can remind us of Him, when we choose to see the world that way.

Even an old, tore up pair of super cool, trendy, washed out jeans can be beautiful.

"Right grandma?"

"....."



Always Love,

Darcy


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU CAN'T STOP OVERTHINKING

Dear overthinker,

Right now you are probably wondering if you have time to read this.

You are considering whether you should just scan through it or if it's worthwhile.

The reason you are thinking this is because you know you've already spent too much time scrolling through social media, when you decided to stop by my blog.

This happened most likely because you are trying to avoid something else you need to do.

But you still have to finish thinking about it before you begin anyway.

So you might as well mindlessly spend this time allowing your brain to be consumed with the thoughts that you must address regardless.

Well, my fellow friend, hopefully this post will be worth your time and slip some helpful, almost sub-conscience ideas into your overwhelmed mind.

I am one of you.

I understand.

Life isn't easy when you can't flip off the switch inside your head.

Yes, I do believe there is a switch up there.

I believe it because I've seen the evidence of it.

I know people who can literally think about nothing at any given time.

Frankly, I cannot grasp this concept even when I try to close my eyes and imagine a switch causing the room inside of my hollow head to go pitch black.

Even then, a little sheep ends up running by.

Then that sheep reminds me of my cousins who are sheep farmers,

which then reminds me that I need to visit them soon,

which then reminds me that I need to spend more time with family and friends rather than being busy,

which then reminds me that I'm busy,

which then leads me into my never-ending to-do list on repeat.

Something like that.

Am I just crazy?

Don't answer that.

But maybe, just maybe, all of us overthinkers are a bit crazy.

And maybe, just maybe, it can be to our advantage if only we allow it.

You see, the reason we think so much is because we want to do things right.

Some call it perfectionism, others call it paying attention to detail.

Either way, when every aspect of a task is thought of before it's done, it usually turns out pretty awesome.

Thing is, it took forever to get to that point because you thought about it for so long.

So a plus side is that we do things to the best of our ability and usually we have some pretty great ideas to bring to the table.

The downside is the emotional toll that overthinking takes on us.

On top of the tasks we are thinking about, comes the thoughts of all of the struggles that we need to work through.

Then, all we can do is think about the pain.

We replay every insult we've heard, every mistake we've made, and every heartbreak over and over.

We blame ourselves.

We blame everyone else.

We believe it when we feel like we are "too much" or "not enough".

Many times, our thoughts are self-directed and self-degrading.

We can't understand why they won't go away.

We can't understand why they are there in the first place.

We can't see why God allowed any of the heartache to originally occur.

We can't see why it doesn't make sense.

Why can't it just make sense?

No matter how much we think about it, we can't make sense of it.

So what do we do?

Well, we just keep thinking about it until maybe one day it does.

Until one day, when God decides to show us why He allowed all of these things to happen and we will finally be able to see how every single painful event strung together to form a perfect story.

A beautiful story.

Someday, it will.

Until then, we wait...and wait...and wait

And the sheep keep appearing over... and over ...and over.

And yes, we even go a little crazy.

Now, I know this is technically just advice from a fellow struggling overthinker BUT I do believe I have a few tips to help when your head is about to explode and you're desperate to make your mind stop.

In order to clear my head I usually resort to four things:

1. I go to the beach. The beach is my happy place and my sad place. It's where I go when I want to get away from it all and let the wind carry the thoughts away from my poor tortured soul and throw them into a sea of vastness, where they can never be found again. That is, until they wash back up when I return back to reality. Still, the beauty of the beach distracts me from my tasks and my problems. So my suggestion to you is to find a place that you love to go, and let it free your spirit, even if it's just for a short time. Let it be so amazing that you can't help but think that since you're there, life isn't so bad after all.

2. I listen to worship music. Something about music soothes my soul every time. I forget how much it helps sometimes and don't always realize the necessity of it in my life. In fact, having it constantly on in the background at all times, changes the atmosphere and slows down my thoughts in general. I find myself subconsciously humming and singing along, which scientifically improves morale (fun fact). Not to mention, worship music invites the presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Prince of Peace, bringing a sense a calmness and reassurance. In His presence, is where we can find rest in the midst of our restlessness.

3. I recite verses of truth in my head to distract any thoughts that contradict what God tells me to think on. Here are a few of my favorites:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete." 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV
I love this verse because it reminds me that the war that I am having with my own thoughts is not against myself, but rather against the enemy who is putting the thoughts inside of my mind to discourage and destroy. Ultimately, I have control over what I am thinking about if I choose to acknowledge every useless or ungodly thought and replace it with something good. (Of course, this is still a daily work in progress for me.)
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 ESV
The reason why many of us overthink is because we are trying to figure out what we should do next. We are listing pros/cons, weighing the options etc. When really, we simply need to renew our minds with God's truths and promises, in order to understand His will for us. This is all we really need to do, we don't have to try to figure everything out.. but trust me, I know that's not very natural for us overthinkers. 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." ESV 
If our thoughts are running rampant we need to test them against this verse and if any of them don't line up, try to take them captive and replace them. 
 4. PRAY. We need to pray that God will take away any anxieties, fears, worries, doubts, pressures, stress, restlessness, etc and thank Him for all of the good things we have. We can be thankful for so much and talking to God continually throughout the day helps us turn our struggles into prayers and our pain into praise.


Now, I am far from perfect at doing all of these things consistently everyday.

In fact, I zoned out several times while writing this blog and started drifting into daydreamland about other things in my life.

But I do believe these are the keys to a calm mind.

I know because they are in God's Word and everything He says is true.

Plus, I've experienced His peace that passes all understanding when I am participating in them and I know it can only be divine (aka it's impossible for me to experience it on my own).

I will be praying for each of you reading this to find peace.

I know it's hard, especially in heartbreaks and struggles.

But everything starts with our thoughts.

The second we let them go, we let our whole selves go.

Sometimes all I want to do is let my mind run wild, and wallow in my misery.

But it's really not worth it.

All God wants is for us to praise Him and seek His presence in our lives.

If we are doing that, everything else will work itself out.

So let's do our best to not even try to make sense of it all.

Or else we will just be left with a whole lot of sheep and a farm full of worries.

I always have to end with something weird like that, sorry.

But you have to admit, it was pretty profound.


"May the God of peace be with you all. Amen." Romans 15:33





















Always Love,

Darcy

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I DON'T WANT TO BE A BLOGGER ANYMORE

I wasn't planning on writing this blog.

Usually I have a rough idea of what I am going to write about before I begin.

This time, I'm just making it up on the spot because it's coming straight from a passionate build up of self realization I've had over the past month.

Now, I know I told everyone that I was going to blog about my travels and write a book review on my most recent read.

Yes, I had an amazing time on my trips to Chile and Peru.

Yes, the book I read was incredible.

And yes, I do still plan on writing about those eye opening experiences in my life.

But you know what I've found on my path to self discovery?

I've found that I am not very motivated to be a "blogger".

What?!

Yes. Yes it's true.

Why? You ask.

Well to be honest, "bloggers" write about traveling, DIY, fashion and little tips and tricks to improve quality of life through crafts and cooking.

And that, my dear friend... that's just not me.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading those blogs and that's why I started blogging in the first place.

In fact, I am very involved in all of those areas.

I just don't particularly like writing about them.

Trust me, I've tried to copy those perfect bloggers and I've planned so many beautiful posts.

Key word: Planned

Thing is, you don't see those blogs anywhere on here do you?

Nope.

That's because I can't be somebody that I'm not.

I am an emotional human, and I must express it somehow or I feel trapped in a fake mold.

My feelings are written all over my face and even though you can't technically see my face, I think you can still clearly "read" my emotions.

Eventually I envision this blog being jammed packed with my world travels, photography, music, business, and all of the things that I love to do in life.

I want that, I really do.

Unfortunately, I can't guarantee if it will be written in the traditional blog form or not, so no promises.

Every time I try to write a practical post, I end up spilling my feelings all over it, like a hot cup of coffee on a new white shirt.

That's just the kind of writer I am.

I am not a typical blogger.

Rather, I am in the field of what I like to call "Emotional Relations"

...I totally just made that up

...or maybe it's a real thing, I have no idea.

Anyway, yes that's me. I like to relate with people on an emotional level.

Of course I want my writing to help people.

But not in the practical "DIY" type of way.

I want you to read my posts and be like "YES, me too, I feel that way all the time".

Not "YES, I can't wait to cook that recipe tonight".

Ya feel me?

So yeah, I am not going to quit blogging.

I'm just going to quit trying to be a blogger.

Because if I try to be something I don't enjoy, then it won't really get anywhere, as you can see from my lack of writing motivation recently.

I think this lesson applies to everything in life.

Actually, it could be the one thing that you can take away from this strange little post of mine.

That is, "Don't try to change your style to match everyone else, just be you."

It sounds a bit cliche but it is so true.

God made each of us with unique talents and gifts.

We can't add or take away from how He made us.

We can improve, yes.

We can learn new things, but ultimately we are who we are.

The best part is that we were made exactly how He wanted us to be, so just because we may lack in one area, doesn't mean we can't approach it in our own different way and be great at it.

We need to embrace our strengths and accept that we can't be anyone else.

For example, I have come to accept that I can't be a perfect blogger, like the ones I admire when scrolling through my Insta feed.

But I can be the perfect me, the way that no one else can.

And hopefully I can use my style to relate with you on a deeper, personal level because that's what I am truly passionate about.

So I QUIT.

I quit being a blogger.

You can't fire me for completely procrastinating on all of the posts that I planned to write for the past month!

No, because I quit! So hah!

And guess what?

I already have a new job.

In.. Emotional Relations.

Sounds very professional, I know.

Thank you, thank you very much.

But for real, I love you guys.

Thanks for letting me be me and share my heart with you.

I hope I can help you feel understood and let you be you too.

I can't wait to write more but for now, I won't plan anything.

I'll just prepare myself for spontaneous moments of emotional overflow.

See ya next time.

But just make sure you don't wear a white shirt because before you know it, you'll end up spilling your own feelings all over it too.

That was really cheesy.

With that being said, I think I'll just stop here.

Ok bye!























Always Love,

Darcy







Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MY TAKE ON MODESTY AND MINIMALISM

Before you get turned off by the word "modesty", keep reading and hear me out.

This is for gals and guys. Old and young. 

The word modesty has become somewhat misconstrued over the years.

When we hear that word, we associate it with women wearing long skirts and dresses.

In reality, it is defined much differently than than that. 

According to Dictionary.com modesty is :
  1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
  2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress,etc. 
  3. simplicity; moderation.
Therefore, modesty is a lifestyle.

It is more than just clothing. 

Many people have a bad view of modesty,

In particular, some girls remember when they were younger and a cranky old woman told them their outfit looked inappropriate.  

Or a strict parent volunteering at a youth group told them that their shorts were too short and unacceptable for church.

Or a teacher at school sent them to the office for violating dress code. 

The word "modesty" has almost become a punishment.

When really, it means something completely different.

Modesty can come in many forms.

We can be modest with our words and behavior.

We can be modest with the way we present and respect ourselves and others.

We can be modest by having a humble attitude.

Actually humility is a synonym for modesty as well.

Moreover, there is a new movement sweeping through our culture called "minimalism".

Becomingminimalist.com gives us a clear meaning of modern minimalism by explaining,
"It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life."
At first I viewed it as just another fad.
But then I realized that living minimally is actually a great concept and it can go hand in hand with living modestly. 
Living modestly is more internal and living minimally is external. 
Minimalists are known for having limited material things.

They live simply and keep their belongings...well minimal.

There is even a phenomenon called the "capsule wardrobe"

This involves limiting your clothes to somewhere around 30 items and getting rid of the rest.

These 30 items can mix and match but you can't add to it or go shopping for more after you've chosen.

This way, you can learn to be content with what you have, keep your closet clean, and not worry as much about your appearance.

When I first heard about this, I said there's no way that I could ever do that.

I love shopping and I love keeping up with the trends. 

And what if Forever 21 was having a huge sale...then what would I do?

Oh I know, how about just never do the capsule wardrobe?! 

Yeah, good plan.

Then, just the other day it came up again and I began to reexamine my lifestyle.

Was I really living modestly?

Was I making my life more stressful, cluttered and complicated than it needed to be?

Yes.

Time for a change.

I've seen how the effects of shopping and accumulating material things have impacted people I love firsthand. 

I've seen how clutter has invaded a home and how the utilization of a sale can become an obsession.

So I've decided to try make my life more minimalistic... Starting now.

Less stuff, less stress.

Especially since I'm not a naturally organized person.

On top of that, I have a theory that living with less will also contribute to living modestly internally.

When I have less things to deal with, I will have more time for taking care of my own needs and the needs of others, without being overwhelmed with too much. 

Unnecessary tasks and to do lists keep my mind occupied on the mess, not the beauty in life.

There's a quote that says "My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather have less to do" - Francine Jay

We can live minimally and in modest moderation by limiting our tasks and keeping it simple.

This way our whole lifestyle can be more relaxed and we can focus on the most important parts of life. 

Our entire persona can change.

So I've decided that when I get home from traveling this summer, I'm going to give away most of my clothes and other unnecessary belongings and choose not to acquire much more.

I may not be a pro at the capsule wardrobe but I'm definitely going to try and see if I can at least have a conscious awareness of minimalism in all aspects of my life. 

I refuse to let busyness and clutter get the best of me.

And I refuse to let sales constantly pull me into buying things I don't need.

Studies show that 1 in 6 people have a shopping addiction to the point where they can barely resist any bargain they see.

This could easily happen to any of us and the world is full of ads to entice consumers.

This is why our stuff keeps piling up.

I've decided to stop the cycle in my own life and only buy and keep items that have significant meaning in correspondence with my values.

Of course, I'll still get things that I genuinely need to survive. 

But I don't want anything flashy and expensive.

Actually, I take that back.

Just because something is expensive, does not mean it is not a wise investment.

As a matter of fact, I believe the key to minimalism is quality over quantity.

Yes, it may cost more but if it will last a lifetime then it is better than buying a ton of junk that breaks and needs to be replaced.

This way, less is more.

Overall, I just want the minimal, modest life.

My life was not created for earthly treasures or stressful living.

In fact, Jesus himself was quite the minimalist.

The best of all time I believe.

He traveled from place to place without a moving van or an RV full of stuff.

He didn't even bring a designer suitcase with a matching carry on bag!

Impressive, I know.

He only possessed the minimal survival necessities.

And He urged the people following Him to do the same.

One time a young ruler asked Jesus what was required of him on earth, in order to go to heaven.

Jesus answered,
"When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich." - Luke 18:22-23
So basically he told the guy to be a minimalist too.

Yeah...he didn't like that idea.

Kind of like me when I heard about the capsule wardrobe.

Now, I'm not saying everyone has to get rid of everything and I don't think Jesus meant that either.

The point was that there was an unhealthy attachment to the stuff.

An idolization of material things.

Jesus just wants us to be willing to give it all up in an instant if needed.

Because what we accumulate on this planet means nothing.

In heaven nobody will care about what your house looked like or if you didn't have one at all.

Jesus went on to say in verse 25, "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Gotta love Jesus' analogies.

He said that because if anyone is unable to put God first and love Him above what their money can buy, then they are in serious danger and won't go to heaven whatsoever.

Money can be blinding and controlling.

Most of all, Jesus wants us to simply love Him and live free from any bondage. 

Free from the bondage of stuff, stress, busyness, and cultural expectations.

Remember the first definition of modesty.

1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.

Freedom.

Freedom from being conceited and consumed with greed etc etc etc.

It goes on and on.

Modesty and minimalism provide freedom from earthly attachment.

So what do you say?

Wanna follow Jesus together and let go of anyTHING holding us back?

I know I do.

Let's live more, with less.

Nobody said anything about how many pairs of boots you can have for the capsule wardrobe right?... 
















Saturday, July 2, 2016

PREGNANT?!

Gotcha! I knew that title would reel you in.

Well, now that you are here, might as well stay a while and let me tell you a story.

The other day I was on a date with my boyfriend, Carlos, at a coffee shop. Just before we arrived, we were having a conversation in the car about how I am a Words of Affirmation girl, and I need to be reassured constantly. It is just who I am. I actually need to be complimented and loved through kind words.

Anyway, as we got up to leave the coffee shop, a lady working there opened the door for us, and asked my boyfriend in Spanish if we were going to have a baby... Yes, she thought I was pregnant...He said no, no, no and we walked out. I looked at Carlos, who somehow maintained a blank face, and I knew that he was hoping I didn't understand what she just said in Spanish. Unfortunately for him, I most definitely comprehended it. I looked up at him and said, "I know what that lady just asked and I think I am gonna go cry now" (in a joking voice) and we both laughed.

Then, as we drove away, those words really started to hurt me and the conversation evolved into a little something like this,

Me: "Well, I guess I'm just fat"

Carlos: "The lady wasn't trying to be mean. I think the dress you are wearing was just blowing in the wind"

Me: "I don't care!!! The point is you've said nothing!! Aren't you going to tell me I don't look pregnant and I'm not fat?? Can't I just get some reassurance from you?? I mean, did we not just talk about this?!

Carlos: "You are not fat at all, you are gorgeous"

Me: "Ok, yeah, now you say that, after I yell at you."

Needless to say, I took out my insecurities on my boyfriend and drove home feeling embarrassed and depressed.

Then I got home and posted a video on snapchat sarcastically saying "Well a random lady at the coffee shop just thought I looked pregnant, so I think I'm going to go read some health magazines, and workout until I can't breathe"

Of course, I was joking but I ended up deleting it right after because I realized what I was doing.

Deep down, I wanted affirmation from people, even if I was kidding.

I wanted them to say, "What, that lady is crazy for asking that?!"

But then again, I would never say how I actually felt, I was just going to laugh it off.

Kind of like everyone does on social media.

I mean imagine a world where people were able to post exactly how they felt and say whatever they wanted, without being looked down on for complaining.

Like what if I said "Hey guys, so far this week a lady thought I looked pregnant which made me feel super insecure, I was sick with a fever throwing up and had to leave work early, I was in bed sick and depressed for a few days, and today I randomly got a sore throat so I couldn't talk or sing and now I am pretty sure I have strep throat or something so I have to go to the doctor in the morning. And to be honest, I feel really bad about it all and it is all just too much for me to handle".

But no. Instead we put on those selfie smiles and say everything is wonderful.

Moreover, as I scrolled through social media today, this is what I saw in my feed:

The perfectly put together outfit.

Beautifully decorated home.

Precisely edited majestic scenery.

An artful latte in the most adorable coffee shop you ever did see.

Braided hair and on fleek brows.

The cutest family photos.

Laughing candids.

A variety of food spread out on a white table, untouched, and positioned just right.

And of course each are consistent with the same moody or vibrant color scheme.

You all have an idea of what I'm saying.

Well there is a reason I follow all of those accounts.

1. For self inspiration
2. I enjoy their style
3. I want to support their following because I know that keeping up a consistently beautiful feed is hard.
4. I secretly want my life to look more like theirs.

I think we are all guilty of number 4 actually.

I mean, how can we not want to be drinking a yummy gourmet latte, in the perfect outfit, in Paris?

But you know what, I am being super honest right now.

For the past week I haven't posted much on my social media.

For a reason.

And that reason is,

It. all. feels. fake.

FAKE.

There I said it.

You can call me negative Nelly.

But no no no, I'm not allowed to be anything but positive on social media! How dare I?!

That would mean I am being...real... (gasp)

Haven't you heard the rules?

You cannot show any other emotion besides happiness on social media because no one wants to see a negative post or else they will unfollow you forever and not be your friend anymore.

Why?

Because people are on social media in the first place to make themselves feel good.

They want your pictures to either make them happy or make them daydream of the perfect life.

Ok ok, I'm over-exaggerating a bit, but I just needed to rant for a second.

The truth of the matter is that I am saying this for myself.

I have felt fake lately.

I have felt like I've been trying to be like everybody else.

But the part I struggle with most is that I don't know how else to do it.

How can I run an online business without trying to please my customers?

How can I gain a following without having a nice looking feed that inspires people?

Building something beautiful isn't wrong, so why do I feel bad about it?

Well, maybe it's because I am pressuring myself or comparing myself...but I sort of have to do those things in order to get stuff done and do it well...so that's confusing.

Sometimes we all just want to post exactly how we feel and truly "live authentic".

To be honest, it has become socially unacceptable to do that online.

When we say, "don't let your emotions out on social media", we are also saying "hide your real personal life from the world".

People are just quickly scrolling to find satisfaction and guess what? That is where the pressure comes from.

You know, that pressure to have the best selfie and best angle?

Ok rant over.

Sorry for being all over the place in this blog, I just love it here because it's my little space to say whatever I want, for as long as I want, however I want to say it. It's great.

But still, deep down, I want you guys to like reading what I have to say.

So there it goes again.

What can ya do? I still don't know the answer.

But what I have learned after reflecting on this is that I think my problem is the affirmation.

If I am in it solely for the pleasure of the views/likes/comments/followers, then I will always feel the pressure to please everyone.

On the other hand, if I am posting for myself and because I like the picture or because I enjoy being able to help and inspire people, then it's a whole different ball game.

Most importantly, I should never post anything before thinking if it will honor God first.

If all I am doing is complaining or being negative then that won't give a good example of the grace and love of Jesus in my life.

Instead, I can have the freedom to post how I feel but in a way that is genuine and honest for the sake of being vulnerable, rather than for the sake of the approval of others.

..remembering that I don't need to have a beautiful social account, in order to have a beautiful life.

"Confidence is not 'they will like me'. Confidence is, 'I'll be fine if they don't' " - Christina Grimmie

Christina was always herself online and didn't let the industry change her. That's why people loved her and felt connected to her. She is my role model and her legacy will live on in my life.

I hope I can get to the point where I am able to be personal online like she was, without worrying about exposing the real me.

I want to be my weird self, yet still display beautiful creativity in my photos, business, and social accounts.

My goal is to say what I wanna say, and be legit without needing anyone to validate it as "acceptable social media behavior".

I just wanna be me.

The journey has begun.

It is time for us all to stop the judgements and allow people to be real on social media because whether we accept it or not, social media is the new modern reality. 




Saturday, June 18, 2016

LET'S BE THE CHURCH

Over the past few days, I've been visiting various parts of the Orlando area, walking around the streets and seeing how the community has come together to support each other through this difficult time. It has been truly beautiful to see how even in the midst of their own pain, people are doing everything they can to help. Businesses are giving proceeds and doing fundraisers. The streets are decorated with flowers, flags, lights, and posters. People are showing they care in all kinds of creative ways and the city is being covered with compassion.

I've also seen how the church has stepped up to play their part. There have been prayer services and vigils all over the place. People are praying together and loving each other. The peace and comfort of Jesus is being poured out and hearts are being restored. 

I couldn't help but feel like this is the way it's supposed to be. This should be the urgency of the church at all times. We should always be there for people in pain because it is constantly happening. People are always hurting and continually in need of prayer support. I think a lot of times we feel like we should let the church leaders take the main role, and we back away. Then, when tragedy strikes, we are compelled to do something, so we step up.

In our hearts, we know what we need to do but many times we are just scared to act. This week, I saw the church truly in action and something sparked in me, so I wrote a simple poem just as a reminder for us all to think on. We are the body of Christ! Let's be His hands and feet, everyday through the joy and the hardships. 

The Body
Let's be the hands
For them to hold
The helpers
Fit to serve
Let's be the feet
That are so bold 
Bringing hope
With every word
Let's be the body
Like we're told
Marked by love
Filled with grace 
Let's be the church
Our task foretold
Sharing Jesus
Bringing peace

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." (Romans 12:3-5 ESV)

A beautiful historic church I saw last night walking through Winter Park. 






























Always love,

Darcy

Monday, June 13, 2016

WHEN THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD IS TOO HEAVY TO HOLD

Where do I begin.

The past few days have been hard.

They have been full of tragedy and suffering.

First, our hearts broke for the loss of Christina Grimmie.

I cried so much that day as I wrote about her beautiful soul.

Just her death alone reminded me of all the evil in the world.

I wrote about terrorism.

I said not to fear.

Little did I know that I would wake up the next morning to more horrific news.

The world shook with the news of the Orlando mass shooting.

Orlando, the city I've called home.

The city I worked in.

The city I attended school in.

The city I love.

Attacked.

The weight of my pain became heavier.

I took on the grief.

I mourned with those who mourned.

I went to a church service in Orlando last night and prayed collectively.

I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

This morning I woke up still feeling a heaviness.

I didn't want to eat breakfast.

I couldn't focus on the tasks of the day.

Then, I got into my car and when I turned it on I heard this:

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steals my breath away
When my back pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You're strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on you
You're the anchor of my hope
The only one who's in control
I will cast my cares on you
I'll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

This war's not what I would have chosen
But you see the future no one knows yet
And you're still good when I can't 
See the working of your hands
You're holding it all

I'm finding there's freedom,
When I lay it all on your shoulders

-Cast My Cares by Finding Favour 

So this post goes out to all of us feeling burdened today.

Those of us whose hearts are aching continually.

When we turn on the news,

When we go on social media,

When we read the articles,

We can cast our cares on The Lord.

He is strong enough to hold it when we feel weak.

There can still be joy in midst of suffering.

None of us can change what happened but we can get stronger because of it.

We can still smile.

We can be grateful for love and community.

We can trust God's plan and have faith that He is good.

Let's give Him our fears, our sadness, and our worries.

He can carry that weight.

His shoulders are much stronger than ours.

Let's let go and say "It is well with my soul".

That is where our freedom is found.

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)