November 27, 2015

thankful

give thanks
there are so many things to be thankful for this year, so i won't spend a whole post writing out all of the things i'm thankful for, and instead i'll write about two things that have had a large impact on my life this year.

first, and foremost (and however tacky, cliché, or cheesy it is...), is God. He has been so faithful. He picks me up countless times every day, tells me that when the world brings me down, He is there. He loves and cherishes me even when i cannot do that for myself. His grace is sufficient, and His power is evident. His redemption is all around me, every day, and His love never fails. He is a good good father.

second is my family. more specifically my church family. as i have mentioned before, i have switched churches. this, combined with the above, has played such a pivotal role in my life. i can, and will, honestly say that through my church, God has turned my life completely around, and i could not be more thankful for this change. the community of my church has helped me in so many ways, and i've already made so many dear friends since going there. it's so easy to see how everything leading up to this has been a God thing. He let me make my own decisions, and when they didn't work out, He said "now this is what i have for you, come and see how good it is", so in desperation, i did, and it is clear to me that this is so much better than everything i could have made for myself.

this morning i went to my church's thanksgiving service, and i was blown away by it. the worship was so, so good, i love to praise Jesus, and then two close friends, who are Syrians, shared their God story. i cried, i couldn't help it. i didn't know everything they'd been through and the challenges they had faced. after the service i was able to talk with friends. maybe a few passing words, a greeting of 'happy thanksgiving!', meeting new people for the first time, and also talking with people who i want to get to know better. God is using all of this, these stories, this worship, this church, this community, in so many huge ways, and i'm so glad i get to be a part of that unfolding. 

today, my heart is so full. i am so thankful for where i am right now. He is good, all the time, and His plan is so exciting for me to see. i only wish that you all had as glorious of a day as i did. happy thanksgiving to all!
xo, rn

November 16, 2015

because that's what you know.

calatrava.
this was not the  editing style i had in  mind when
 i took  this photograph, no  not at all.  but when
edited it, i decided to be real, and let it reflect my 
actual  feelings, to  strip away that  fake mask of 
completely   unattainable  perfection,  because  i 
know  i   will  never  be   perfect,  and   that's  ok.

it's those moments when you start to feel so alone when that depression starts to show it's ugly face. it comes almost unsuspectingly, and then after a little while of that coming on, it whispers lies to you, and you believe them because that's what you know. you sink deeper and deeper, and all of a sudden you realize that you've gone down that road again, that thing you said you were done with, it sounds like a good idea, those feelings you promised yourself you weren't going to feel again? they're back. those thoughts you said would never cross your mind? they're racing around your brain, and they're enticing to you. it's almost tangible, you can see it right in front of your eyes. you want to hold back, you want to break free, "i was done!", you remind yourself. and then you realize you already said it like it was in the past, and you know you're already all the way there. you do nothing but feel numb, because you've failed yourself yet again. 

while this is all going on, the devil is whispering to you, 'oh yes, i know you were fine yesterday, everything was good... but that was yesterday, and now you feel lonely, like no one cares for you... because they really don't. you aren't worth a thought or a word. no text or message to say they care, because they don't. you're a bother to everyone you meet, and that's how it should be, because you are worthless. so come on, you know this will make you feel better.' 

and you go, because that's what you know. because you don't have enough strength to say no, because the idea has been planted and grown. all in just a few moments, you're so far down that road that going back seems impossible, because you know the alternative will work for you, because you've done it so many times before. it's that bad habit that you've tried so hard to break because you hate it. but you know, deep down, that you really actually love it, and it makes you feel, it gives you some control in a life that is so weighted down by things you can't control, like what others must think about your life, and the feelings that are happening but you can't suppress.

and the next morning you wake, it hits you like a ton of bricks. it was a bad idea, and you realize now, and you hurt, and you're ashamed. you pick your clothing with great care. people ask, you look away, say it's nothing, it's not a big deal, or you make up some other excuse, almost trying to convince yourself, too. the topic is brought up and immediately you tense up, your mind shuts off, and you reach for whatever your brain locks on first. you can feel eyes on you, but you don't dare look up. they might see, they might know. you feel so ashamed and ruined, but those things can't be changed anymore. the past is the past, you just need to keep moving forward, but it's so hard, and life is so unfair...
xo, rn

November 14, 2015

11.13.15

#prayforparis
my heart is broken. all day yesterday and today as news came rolling in, my heart just sunk lower and lower. i have no words for the destruction that people take out on other humans. how can your mind be so twisted to make this seem okay? what happened in Paris yesterday was not okay, but the outpouring of love shows clearly how good God is. it is a disaster, it is heartbreaking, it is devastating, but through it, God is showing Himself. i have seen so many posts from all over the world, people standing up, showing that we are with them, that we see it, that we hurt too, that we are praying, and that our God is big, and mighty, and loving. this what we need to show to those who are hurting.

originally this post was going to be about what happened in Paris, but a friend of mine on facebook posted about how these acts of destruction are happening all over, and honestly, to the same extent or worse. what is happening all over the world is disastrous and scary. #prayforparis is huge, but why aren't all of those other countries getting that? things like this are happening constantly over in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and so many other countries, and they happened yesterday as well. but why aren't we hearing uproar about those? have we become so used to isis and the horrible things that they are bringing about that we can turn our heads away from their suffering? why is it that as soon as something devastating happens in a popular area like Paris, we all take a huge stand? these things are real and are happening daily, and they need our prayer just as much.

while i don't think that Paris should be pushed aside (never, no. Paris is very dear to me.), and i do believe this solidarity is a good thing, we need to be a voice for those other countries too. we should pray for Paris, but also pray for the middle east. pray for Japan, pray for Somalia, pray for Baghdad. pray for those who have to get up every morning scared for their lives, everyone. not just the ones the media picks up on. the world needs a light through this darkness, and Jesus is the light. we need to get up and constantly go before God to #prayfortheworld. please don't turn away from the reality that is happening all over the world. i hope your eyes are opened and you can see just how much the whole world is in need of your prayers.
xo, rn

November 9, 2015

jumbled thoughts.

simple pleasures
simple pleasures
i want to write, badly, but right now in this moment the words won't come. i believe this has to do with me feeling pretty okay lately. more than okay, really. the other day when i was driving to work i felt something weird, and after finally reaching work, i had determined that that feeling was actually joy. i hadn't felt joy in so long that i had completely forgotten what it felt like. man, it was a good feeling. it's one of those feelings that you're scared to hold onto because you know it's too good to be true, and there must be something bad coming. unfortunately that's exactly what i was thinking the whole time i felt this indescribably good feeling, and it damaged it. you can't really appreciate something if you're stressed over what is sure to come afterwards.
 
but overall lately it's been good. God is real, and He is good. so, so good. thinking about my future now is so much different than it was then. it was so dismal, scary, and worrying then. now i feel so excited, so ready, pumped, even. it feels so weird to say this, because i'm still not used to feeling this way. this all isn't to say that my hard times are over, i'm sure you realize that. they will never be over, and they most definitely aren't close to it now. i still have many bad habits that i feel i have no control over. breaking those habits is hard, i'm just going to say it like it is.

in other news, with the changing of myself, this space needed a facelift, so i spent some time working on that (and using some of my new coding skillzzzzz, still learning, but it's all so exciting and blogger also sucks for trying to customize and i am ready to host my own site but hahahaha. yeah. no.), and here is the finished product. i guess it actually works pretty well for me. especially since i finally have used my own handwriting for the header, that makes it feel like home the most.

enjoy your day, lovely. 
xo, rn