Living With My Dyspraxia: Exercise

Dyspraxia, also known as DCD, Developmental Coordination Disorder affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. People with dyspraxia may find it extremely difficult to exercise or even to stay motivated. Many people with dyspraxia often have low muscle tone and poor hand eye coordination, which makes it hard for them to run/jump or even to play team sports.

For me, I feel like I personally have a great amount of muscle from spending an enormous amount of time in the gym and pushing myself to lift weights. When I was younger, my family and friends started nicknaming me, “Herculina”.

My downfall with exercise is that it gets exhausting and when I do run into muscles that might be weaker, I get discouraged from exercising.

Here are some exercises that I find extremely helpful and enjoyable:

Yoga:

As I stated before, I used to be a yoga instructor. At some point I was actually teaching two yoga classes a day, twice a week. When I wasn’t teaching I was in the gym every morning pushing myself to work on muscle tone and balance.

Yoga is helpful regarding balance and coordination. Although for me, I would struggle with the sequences and the timing of the sequences.

Swimming:

I find swimming very therapeutic and refreshing. Swimming is great for people with dyspraxia because it is made up of repetitive movements in a sequence, and with practice it is easy to follow.

Swimming helps with balance, flexibility, and endurance.

Running:

I enjoy running as it gives me an outlet to run off excess steam or frustrations that I may have. It also lets me get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, most likely I’ll probably trip over while running. It happened more often when I was younger. I re-call having bruises and torn up knees from tripping and falling constantly.

I usually tend to run/jog, or to do interval running. That’s my way of trying to make sure I don’t fall as much.

Longboarding:

When I was in high school I would longboard more often. I often liked to hang around my guy friends who were often longboarding and/or skateboarding and watch them. Although, I never seriously got into it. I don’t have as much time to longboard as much anymore so my skills are pretty bad.

I find longboarding helpful regarding learning how to balance, however that can also be the downfall. I often lean too far to the right when I actually want to go left, or left when I want to go right. I also have a habit of losing balance as I’m trying to coordinate my movement.

Longboarding may not be for everyone, so I would strongly caution this if your balance is basically non-existent. Or, if you are just starting out, try on a flat surface. Baby steps, y’all.

 

What If I Don’t Like Any Of Those Options?

I also like to walk and go hiking whenever possible. Find an exercise that motivates you to want to workout. It’s never fun to do an exercise that you feel, forced into or bored at. Try to pick sports that’ll improve your coordination, and muscle strength. As with anything, exercising requires determination and practice. Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t succeed, keep at it. It’s okay to start slowly and take things easy. You don’t have to be a pro at it from day one.

Living With My Dyspraxia: Grooming and Personal Care

In today’s blog post I’m going to be going through the grooming and personal care struggles that dyspraxics may go through.

Adults with Dyspraxia face challenges daily from tasks that non – dyspraxic adults may find easy to carry out.

Makeup: 

For me sometimes the struggle is between being afraid I’m going to poke myself in my eye when doing my mascara, and finding it difficult to do the hand movements everything. I know the process of doing make-up: moisturizer, foundation, concealer, eye shadow, mascara, lips, etc.

I usually try to keep my makeup application simple.

As for eyebrows, I gave up trying to do them myself. I get them done at the beautician. I’ve learned from experience when I do my eyebrows, I end up leaving huge gaps in them and looking sort of like Seamus Finnigan from Harry Potter every time he produced explosions and blew off parts of his eyebrows.

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Hair: 

Do not even get me started on hair tasks. Most children and adults with dyspraxia try to find hairstyles that are simple and easy to maintain. Especially when you have to use a hair dryer, it may be awkward to grip and handle.

My struggle with hair is trying to figure out how to get my hair into all those cute styles I’m always looking up and wanting to try and trying to figure out how to hold my hair dryer in the process.

I tend to like to stick with shorter to medium styles for my hair as it’s easier for me.

Teeth Care:

People without dyspraxia may find brushing their teeth easy. For dyspraxics, trying to figure out how to grip their toothbrush and co-ordinate movement while brushing teeth may be an actual frustration and nightmare.

Many dyspraxics find setting a timer on their phones helps, and using an automatic toothbrush extremely helpful.

18 Signs You May Have Dyspraxia

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It took 26 years of my life for me to realize that I had dyspraxia. Before then, I had spent 26 years of my life wandering through life being diagnosed with ADHD and an “undiagnosable” learning disability. I was extremely clumsy, often tripping up and down stairs, constantly walking into strangers, and even dropping stuff constantly.

Dyspraxia, referred to as DCD in the United States, is a neurological disorder. It primarily affects motor function(the ability to eat, speak, and move). Symptoms range from; poor balance, difficulty planning or organizing ones thoughts, to tendencies to bumping and falling into things or people. Many people with dyspraxia are prone to having low self-esteem, and depression. It is estimated that between 2-10 percent of the population has dyspraxia. Dyspraxia can also be common in people who were premature at birth, and had low birth weight.

Simply put: Not all of the messages your brain is sending to your body are getting through. 

Think of it like a post card or a package getting lost somewhere along the way. It’s happened and still happens to this day. The signals basically get muddled and lost along the way.

Dyspraxia is often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc. Many doctors are unable to readily diagnose DCD and are not as familiar as they should be with it. Which explains to me why as a child, most of my teachers and physicians knew I had a learning disability, but could never put their finger on it.

For me, I spent 26 years of my life diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability that many could never place their hands on or name. I was constantly losing things, walking into people and struggling to pay attention in class and getting over tired from the constant amount of homework.

I was constantly in and out of learning strategies classes in school to help me learn to, “be more organized”. Teachers would often get frustrated with me and label me as an underachiever and lazy when I’d struggle to find the energy to finish a task.

Some celebrities with dyspraxia are; Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine, Albert Einstein, and Jamie Lambert and Daniel Radcliffe, who struggles with tying his shoelaces.

Here are 18 signs you may be dyspraxic:

1. You Find It Hard To Concentrate

Getting distracted, and finding it extremely hard to focus is a common struggle for people with ADHD and dyspraxia.

For me, my ability to concentrate or not will show up in specific situations. Sometimes I’m able to have conversations with people for hours on end, and sometimes after five minutes I’ll just start staring at the ceiling fan. I can curl up on the couch by the fire and read a book for hours, however I find it hard to sit still and watch a movie for hours. I end up getting jumpy and distracted and need to move around. I can sit and watch a baseball game for hours, soccer however I lose concentration after the first five minutes.

2. You’re Constantly Losing Everything

I feel like a good portion of my day consists of me walking around going, “Where did I leave my car keys?” or, “Where on earth did my shoes go?’.

I struggle with making a place for everything and then remembering where those places are.

The struggle is real, y’all.

3. You’re Really, Really Clumsy

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I’ve gotten so used to looking at my legs or arms and seeing random bruises. I used to get really worried and go, “How did that get there?!”. Now, I look like, “Cool! Another bruise.”

4. Your Balance Isn’t Great

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No matter how many yoga classes I’ve gone to and how much time I spend at the gym practicing balance exercises, making sure I don’t fall over is a daily struggle for me.
I can be known to trip, or randomly fall even if there’s nothing there.

5. You’re Really Bad At Self Care Tasks

While many people with dyspraxia may have mastered tasks like tying shoelaces, dealing with the struggles of fine motor skills can be a struggle. Tasks like trying to do your hair, putting on make up, etc.

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My best friend from high school, who is basically my sister, has done a great job throughout the years of helping me learn to coordinate my movements, and to teach me tricks and ways of styling my hair, doing my make-up and even helping me with fashion advice.
Practice makes perfect.
Eventually. Or at least that’s what I say to myself.

6. Can I Have A Medal For Doing Two Things At Once?

During meals, I’m often really silent because I have to focus on eating.
And if I’m not eating, I’m focused on making conversation and then everyone else finishes and I’m left to eat really fast.
So, usually I’m left eating slowly.
Slow and steady wins the race, right?

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People with dyspraxia find it nearly impossible to hold two objects in separate hands at once or even do two tasks at the same time. It’s not only the physical multitasking that’s difficult.

For instance: There is no way for me to listen to music and read or study at the same time. I’ve tried, trust me.
I end up getting distracted and having to re-read the same lines about 15 times before I give up making them go hand in hand.

7. You Walk Awkwardly

My mom has always told me that I tend to walk slightly off kilter and off balanced. The way she describes it brings to mind me walking like a duck. With my feet out to the sides and everything.
For me, I think I walk just fine.
I’m sure as I’m gotten older that my walking has improved.

At least, I think it has…..

I can’t even begin to list the amount of times that I’ve been told that I’m walking – hunched over, I’m leaning too far to my right, now I’m leaning too far to my left.

I have a hard time walking next to friends. I tend to end up walking into them – sort of like bumper cars but without the cars or even elbowing them.
I finally had to tell my friends not be be offended if I want a two person distance between them and me during walks.

8. Learning New Skills Is A #Struggle

 I currently work at a coffee roastery as a chef. Each day is an interesting challenge for me. A few weeks ago, I was struggling with learning how to whisks eggs(correctly). My whole life I’ve struggled with the movement of the wrist when learning to whisk. Whether I’m whisking eggs, or whisking batter. It usually looks like I’m beating the batter or eggs. 


Learning new skills is a struggle when you have dyspraxia.
It requires a lot of focus and concentration.

For instance, I spent years learning how to correctly play the djembe – african drum. For years, my rhythm was off, it took me ages to eventually learn how to play it so that I was getting a rhythm I wanted.

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9. Your Eye-Hand Coordination Sucks, Let’s Admit It

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In middle school and high school I used to dread P.E. class because my eye-hand coordination was basically non-existant. People would throw frisbees at me, and I’d be ten feet away from it and be like, “I got it!”. That or I’d throw a baseball or basketball to a team member, and it would be like I was making them run a mile just to get the ball.
Hey, at least they got a workout from it. 

I often give people a fun little eye-hand coordination test: Throw a ball(preferably something small and soft) at a wall and see if you can catch it. If you’re anything like me chances are your response will either be, “Oh, shit! I just broke my nose” or, “Oh, shit! I just broke that lamp!”.

10. You Find Speaking/Eating Difficult

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People with dyspraxia are extremely aware of all of the different mechanisms involved with eating food, “Bite! Chew! Swallow! Repeat!”  All while making sure you don’t choke on your food in the process and make a mess(which for me ends up happening anyway). It makes eating food especially tricky. When I eat, I have to concentrate extra hard. There is no possible way for me to speak during meals, unless I just forget eating altogether.

Usually my go to foods are soft foods; like soup, pizza, seafood, or even mashed potatoes. Especially if I’m eating with friends or at a social gathering and I have to focus on speaking at the same time.

11. Please, No Daily Tasks That Require Moving.

You know how at parties most people have fun?
I mean, you drink, meet up and chat with friends and eat great food and enjoy great music.
However, while everyone else is enjoying themselves and worry and stress free, you are:

  • trying not to bump into any furniture
  • trying not to bump into anyone
  • trying to make sure you don’t bump into someone and spill your drink
  • trying to make sure you don’t drop your glass as you maneuver through the crowds
  • trying to make sure you don’t spill anything on the carpet
  • trying to make sure you don’t spill your food everywhere

12. Are You Left or Right- Handed? You’re Not Sure….

13.. You Don’t Sit Normally

My friends and family often tell me about how oddly I sit in chairs.
I’ve never been able to sit normally in chairs.
It just feels odd and weird to me to sit with my feet on the ground.
Instead I either sit half cross-legged, or totally cross-legged.
It just feels so much more comfortable to me.
As a kid one of my favorite ways to sit on the floor was half pretzel.

14. Organization Is Not Your Strength

I spent much of my school years in classrooms that helping me learn better organizational skills. Sometimes, I’d spend the whole class period setting up binders, and having everything organized and in the correct place. By the end of the day the binder would look like an army had raided it for top secret information.

I was constantly late to class, I was always losing homework, forgetting due dates, etc.

Needless to say, organization is not my forte. Technology is.
As an adult and grown woman I understand that I need to be organized.
Half the apps on my phone are devoted to organization, reminders, lists, etc.
I set myself reminders on what I need from the grocery store, exactly what’s on my schedule, where I need to be and at what time.

If I didn’t, I’d be getting lost constantly and probably spending half the day in bed.

15. Driving Is Like Learning To Read When You’re Blind. It’s Just So Complicated

I struggle with driving.
I struggle with spacial awareness enough as it is.
Sometimes I think cars are further away than the actually are or that they’re WAY WAY TOO close to my bumper. Sometimes I’m a little too much left or right when I think I’m completely straight.

16. It’s Incredibly Difficult To Learn A Physical Sequence

One of the many reasons I gave up teaching yoga was that I could never fully master the art of teaching the yoga poses in the correct sequences.

 

I would either teach classes really fast and hard so that people were completely drenched in sweat by the first 15 minutes, or I would teach the sequences so slowly that I’m sure some people just sat in the back reading.

If I do manage to remember sequences, I have to do them so much that they’re eventually engrained into my mind and it’s become my whole life.

 17. You Struggle With Insomnia

18. Does Your Spatial Awareness Even Exist?

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My lack of spacial awareness helps to explain to people why I’m often stepping on their toes, or bumping into them or inanimate objects.

See, most people understand that when you’re close to coming into contact with people, you need to move away and shift your body. It’s not that people with dyspraxia don’t understand, it’s just that we struggle with spacial awareness big time.

If you have dyspraxia, you may find yourself crashing into people on the street. For instance:

  • You misjudge how far away another person is from you, so you narrowly miss walking into them or walk into them
  • When you eat, you misjudge the distance from the plate to the edge of the table, or the distance from the plate to your mouth. I know whenever I’m done eating, I’m either coated in food particles, or the table is a work of art.

So, What’s Your Point?

Simply put, there is no cure for dyspraxia. It is a life long disorder. Pretty much the cure is to try to be as organized as possible. Many people with dyspraxia often go to speech therapy and occupational therapy which I went through as a child. Or they’re put in classes to help them learn organizational skills.

As an adult, I organize my days with a daily planner. I write every little detail on it, where I have to be at what time, when my rent is due, etc. Doing so helps me to set realistic goals and not get lost and forget where I need to go or what I need to get done.

Dyspraxia is really under-diagnosed by physicians, teachers, and parents. Especially in the United States. It’s also really hard to diagnose because it is basically a cluster fuck(excuse my language) of dealing with different difficulties and often when being diagnosed, physicians label it as something else.

My goal through this blog post is to spread awareness of dyspraxia and help others in similar situations as mine. Many people who actually have dyspraxia are often misdiagnosed with other disabilities.

Do you have dyspraxia? I would love to hear your story!

A Response To The Annapolis Shooting

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Annapolis is my hometown.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve hung out downtown with friends eating hot dogs from Pip’s Dock Street Dogs and licking an ice cream from Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory as it’s melting faster than I can lick. Or the amount of times I’ve watched the Fourth of July fireworks from one of the parking garages. The amount of times I’ve gone downtown in the middle of the night playing guitar or even playing my drums. Not to mention the church I attend is in the heart of Annapolis.

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In light of Thursday’s shooting at the Capital Gazette, I wanted to give my response.

Workplace shootings happen, and unfortunately in this day and age shootings have become all the more common. More and more people wonder if this type of thing will ever happen in their school, their workplace, or even their hometown.

Most of us actually go about our daily lives hoping that we never have to live in fear of this type of thing happening.

Honestly though, at any given time this could happen.
This could happen anywhere.
This could be your hometown.
This could be your workplace.
These people could be your co-workers, your friends, your family, etc.

 

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This could be your hometown that is getting politicized and used as an example of Trump’s “hateful” rhetoric on the media.

It can happen to anyone, anywhere at any given time. This shouldn’t allow us to live in fear or even stop being lights in a dark world.

Yes, unfortunately shootings happen and politics aside, we need to take a look at our gun laws and our mental health care system – and maybe I’ll write another post about the guns laws and mental health care system soon.

We shouldn’t allow these shootings to break us, to make us spend our whole lives living in fear.

Life is way too short so spend your life worrying about the what if’s. I’ve learned to trust God with my what if’s and but’s, and give Him full control.

Today I want to challenge you guys to be a light, to spread kindness.

Maybe reach out to an old friend, talk with someone who you may disagree with politically, or even call your mom or grandmother just to talk to them. Help a neighbor mow their lawn, pay for someone’s order at the drive through, etc.

There are endless ways that we can spread kindness.
It will cost you $0.00 to be kind to someone.

In times of tragedy is when we need to come together more than ever as a nation, rather than to allow hateful rhetoric and politics divide us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are you?

Who are you?

How would you answer this question?

For many years whenever someone asked me this, I would begin by listing my hobbies or things I liked.

“I’m Libby. I like coffee and hiking.”

OR

“I’m Libby. I love crystals, and watching anime.”

OR

“I’m Libby. I love exploring abandoned buildings and reading.”

It wasn’t until a friend told me, “That’s great! Though, all you told me was what you liked.”

Now, in the moment I probably looked at this friend like, “Man, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed”, and I probably also rolled my eyes in annoyance.

Looking back, this friend is right.

How, many times as Christians do we tell people, “Your sin and past mistakes don’t define you”, while simultaneously defining ourselves by our hobbies or clothes.

You see, we are still allowing ourselves to be defined by something. Whether that’s grades, fashion, our job, or a relationship.

As people we are constantly learning and growing, and thus our hobbies, fashion taste, and worldview are constantly changing.

While these things do have the power to describe us and provide people with the insight as to who we are, they don’t define us.

Who are you when nobody is around? Who are you underneath your hobbies and labels?

If you don’t know you who are or what you value in life, or even where your worth comes from, you will constantly be searching for your identity in hobbies, interests and even people and allowing those things to define you.

Know who you are underneath the labels.

Who are you?

A Letter to Those Hurt by Christians

To all those who have been hurt  by Christians,

I get why you don’t want to believe in God.
I get why you stopped believing in God.
I get why you may be weary to enter a church building.
I get why you may be weary to approach Christians.
I get it.
I really do.
I was there.

You’ve seen Christians on street corners who are screaming their heads off about people going to hell.
You’ve seen Christians turn a blind eye and “okay” some sins while calling out others for other sins.
You’ve seen Christians not even bothering to pray for others in their time of need.
You’ve seen Christians in church sit there texting and talking all throughout the sermon.
You’ve seen Christians in church act like a clique, not even bothering to greet the new people.
You’ve had Christians treat you and your salvation just like another, number to them that they will soon forget about.

I get it.
I’ve seen it all too.
For awhile it even made me want to leave the church, and I did for some time.

Here’s the thing though:
Christians aren’t Christ.

we are all sinners – in need of the grace and forgiveness of Christ. 

Christians mess up.
We aren’t perfect.
Sometimes, you’ll look at Christians and they may be reflecting Christ.
Sometimes, you’ll look at Christians and they won’t be reflecting Christ.

Are you following Christ or Christians?

We go on Twitter and see people tweeting great and inspirational tweets about Christ.
We go on Instagram and see people posting cool photos with the newest filters about an inspirational Bible story and something they’ve learned that day.
We see Christians outside of church and see them smoking, or drinking or cursing and think, “That must be okay”.

We start to compare ourselves to other christians and want to be, just like them. Forgetting though that they too are – sinners. Imperfect. We all fall short of the glory of God.

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry if you’ve been deeply hurt by a Christian.
I’m sorry if you’ve seen Christian after Christian be a bad witness.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt unwelcome in a church.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever been treated unfairly by a Christian.
I’m sorry.

God isn’t us though.
God doesn’t play favorites.
God doesn’t misrepresent himself.
God doesn’t mess up.
God doesn’t make mistakes.
God doesn’t say the wrong thing.
God never leaves or forsakes you.
God will never hurt you.
God will never be too busy to listen to your fears, hurts, cries, joy,etc.

We’re all “Works in Progress”

“I can’t wait until I lose this weight, I’ll be beautiful.”

“I’ll stop working as much, and spend more time with my family once I get this promotion”

“I need to study until I get accepted into Harvard, then I’ll hang out with my friends”

“I can’t stop! I need this to be absolutely perfect!”

We’ve all said something similar. We promise to love ourselves more once we aren’t a “work in progress”.

I used to. I told myself once I lost such and such weight, I would be beautiful. Guys were constantly shaming me and abusing me and making me feel less than perfect because I wasn’t their definition of “beautiful”. I’ve learned to love myself through the works in progress in my life.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to love the version of ourselves that’s still a work-in progress.

It’s easier for us to see the negative in ourselves and we have a habit of beating ourselves up. I’ve been there.

Without realizing, we are all actually works in progress. There’s always something to learn from and improve on. We aren’t perfect.

 

Love yourself where you are, friend.
There’s always something that we can improve on and always something to learn from.  If you’re waiting until you aren’t a “work in progress”, you’ll be waiting a lifetime to love yourself.

 

 

– Elizabeth Louise

How to Fight Temptation

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We all deal with different kinds of temptations.
Often I get messages from people saying, “I’m dealing with temptation, and I can’t seem to overcome it. I keep falling backwards and falling into sin”.

First, let me just say that you aren’t alone. We all go through temptation and deal with it. But, the good news is that you already have victory over your temptation. You are free in Christ and covered by the blood of Christ.

A few months ago I devised my own system on “How to Fight Temptation” in three steps. It’s a system I like to call “ILL“.

First, you need to Identify the problem.
What is it that is causing you to stumble?
If it’s alcohol that is causing you to stumble, perhaps you may need to do eat out for awhile at restaurants or bars where there is alcohol, or perhaps you might be scrolling through Facebook and see a post from friends drinking a beer or two, that might be the time for you to get off Facebook and turn off your phone and get into the word. Or perhaps you may just need to limit the amount of alcohol you have and when you have it.
If it’s lust you’re struggling with or struggling with sexual desires or impulses, maybe perhaps when you see those Twitter accounts with the “sexual gifs” and videos, that might be the time for you for exit out of Twitter or even turn the phone off and get into the Word. You may even decide that deleting your Twitter account might be helpful if you’re really struggling.

Whatever it is, identify it so that you can better help yourself and take the steps to become more aware of what’s causing you to stumble. If you don’t know what you are struggling with, you won’t know how to protect yourself from falling into that temptation.

Secondly, Lean on Christ.
You have already been freed.
You are covered by the blood of Christ and in Him you can claim victory because Jesus already overcame when He overcame death on the cross.
In life you are going to face all sorts of temptations, and we have to rely on Him.
We have to rely on His strength and not ours.

And last but not least, Leave Me Alone Satan.
God allows us to deal with temptation so that we may learn to overcome and master them instead of becoming slaves to our temptations.
As I said before, we all get tempted.
Even Jesus was tempted, only when He was being tempted instead of giving in  He resisted the devil and threw truth at the devil.
In Matthew 4:10 it says, Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Jesus threw truth at Satan and told him to leave.
When you are being tempted, surround yourself with God’s truth.
Surround yourself in His word.
James 4:7 tells us, Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

When we resist the devil, He will flee.

 

Friends, you are a child of God.
You have victory over your temptations because Jesus bought that victory when He overcame death on the cross.
Claim that victory in Christ.

How Are You Using Your Words?

Words.

Sometimes we forget just how much power and weight the words we speak aloud hold.

We get into arguments, and say the wrong thing with our words.
We use our words to spread gossip about people.
We use our words to pray for others.
We use our words to thank family or friends.
We use our words to express love.
We use our words to comfort someone in a time of need.
We use our words to tell jokes to provide others with laughter.
We use our words to lie – whether it’s a “little” lie or a “big” lie.

Yes, the words we speak hold extreme power – the power of life and death.

The power of build up or tear down.
The power to bring together or to separate.
The power to provide peace or stress.

The Bible tells us in Genesis that God used HIS words to speak creation into existence. He used HIS words to speak life into this world. Meanwhile, Satan used his words to speak lies and death into existence.

Sometimes when we get frustrated, angry, or upset it’s easy for us to say the wrong thing.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in trouble or in the wrong place at the wrong time, we may use our words to try to lie to get out of trouble.
Sometimes when we hear news that we know may not be true but sounds juicy, we use those words for gossip.

 

How are you using your words?
Are you using your words to build up and encourage others? Or to tear down and discourage others?
Are your words full of life or death?

Be careful with the words you speak, they hold such enormous weight.
If you are ever upset, angry, or frustrated it’s okay to take a deep breath, or maybe even walk away from the situation or take awhile to answer that text.

 

 

Love is found at the Cross

Friends,
I don’t know where you are at right now. Maybe you’re happily married, engaged or just started dating the greatest person. Or maybe you are on the other side of the spectrum and Valentines day is not the greatest day for you this year. Or you could be in the middle, you could be single or in a relationship and just feel that Valentines Day is way too commercialized(you aren’t alone!). 
I want you guys to know that for years Valentines day was super hard for me. I either had memories of an abusive boyfriend or of a boyfriend who wouldn’t celebrate it because he thought it was way too, “sexual” and instead would lecture me on it. 
I get it. 
This post is for you guys.
I just want you to know that Valentines day isn’t what defines love. 
You are loved & known. You are seen & and heard. 

 
Valentines Day!
It’s right around the corner….

For months supermarkets have had aisles stocked with teddy bears of all sizes holding hearts that say, “I love you” along with heart shaped boxes containing candy of all flavors and sizes.
Flower shops are quickly gathering orders together, and preparing for the Valentines Day rush of loved ones sending flowers to one another. Restaurants are also bracing themselves for the crowd of people preparing to descend upon them on Valentines Day evening.

So, ladies and gentlemen, what exactly is love?

Is love when your significant other brings home flowers to you?
Is love when your significant other brings you chocolate?
Is love when you have sex?
Is love when your significant other brings home a teddy bear bigger than Mars with a heart that says, “Love”?
Is  love when you get up early to cook breakfast for your loved one?

The answer to all of these is no.
These are all things that you do for someone because you want to show them love or appreciate them.
They are actions that show people that you love them.

But, they aren’t love necessarily.

In John 3:16 the Bible tells us,  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

How many of us would give up our children for the world?
How many of us would give up our loved ones for the world?

For God so loved…..

You.
Your sister.
Your brother.
Your parents.
Your aunt and uncle.
Your cousins.
Your best friend.
Your husband/wife.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.
Your teacher.
Your mailman.
The waiter/waitress at your favorite restaurant.
The politicians in D.C.
The Olympic athletes.
The world.

God gave us His one and only son. That whosoever may believe in Jesus, may have eternal life.
The God who created us, who knows our thoughts even before we speak them. Who knows not just the good about us, but the bad too.
He gave up his one and only son.
Jesus died on the cross for the entire worlds sins.

Society has commercialized love to mean that it comes in a “heart” or that love somehow goes with a certain day.

True love is found on the cross and is found daily.

Happy Valentines Day guys!

Elizabeth Louise

Side Note: Ever since I went to see The Greatest Showman I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack on Spotify. So I decided to buy it to listen to it in my car as well. Anyone else addicted to the soundtrack?