On A Whim

By Natalie Davis

Dreamer. 

This word has come up many times in my vocabulary lately.

If I had a dollar every time someone asked me what I want to do after the summer, I would never have to work a day in my life. I like to refer to myself as a dreamer. My mom called me this once and it just stuck. I have these massive and somewhat unattainable dreams that I want to see happen in my life. (I say unattainable because I cannot adopt all the babies in the world. I would if I could, trust me). 

I tend to do things on a whim. As you probably have already guessed, I like whimsy. I think that life is too short to get comfortable and never at least chase after your dreams. I like to succeed, just like I am sure all of you do too. Someone the other day told me, "hey Natalie, I just want to let you know that it is ok to fail."  My thoughts exactly: I am sorry, WHAT!! No sir, it is not ok to fail. Failure is never an option.

He told me that the only true failure, is the failure to try. Smart guy. 

I have had this dream for a while now. This dream often gets interrupted with inadequacy. I am not good enough. I am too young. I don't have the resources. This dream is way too big. Unattainable(I am not referring to adopting all the babies, FYI). My hope of being vulnerable with you is that I, and I invite you to as well, will keep myself accountable to always be willing to try. I am still in the adolescent phase of this dream and honestly, most of it is just now getting from my brain to paper. So stay tuned. 

Have you ever found yourself dreaming? Dreaming of changing the world? Writing a book? Becoming a pro surfer? Going to Mars? Becoming a doctor? Do you often times get discouraged and believe lies? This dream is too big. I can't do it. What if it fails? What if I fail? 

I have three words for you. 

Chinese Bamboo Tree.

Before you think, you had all the words in the world, and you chose those three, seriously? Let me just explain. 

Once this tree is planted, farmers nurture and water the seed for five years and see no growth. Five whole years and nothing to show for it. They could choose to stop watering the plant. They could lose faith and give up. BUT if they choose to continue to tend to this tree, something miraculous happens. On the fifth year, the tree grows 80 feet in six weeks. It does not take this tree six weeks to grow. It takes five years and six weeks. In the five years of waiting and what I am sure the farmers think of as a waste of time, growth was happening. The roots had to become strong enough to hold 80 feet of bamboo.

Maybe the Lord is working on your roots. Consider this a blessing, friends. If the tree started to grow when the roots weren't ready, not good news for the tree. 

Even when we can't see growth right away, keep being faithful. Don't give up. Who knows how long it will take. You might not even be alive to see it through. Still, do not give up. Try. Go out on a whim. Step out. Further the Kingdom in the name of Jesus. And do not be scared of failure. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

This is for my fellow dreamers, keep dreaming. Let's change the world. 

xoxo, nat

Natalie Davis // http://whimsicalsomethings.com

Natalie Davis // http://whimsicalsomethings.com

Unapologetic Self-Care

By Sarah Hively

It is only the third week of my new job, a job I truly love with all my heart, a job I actually look forward to every morning, and today, I called off.

I told my boss I was taking a personal day, and even more surprisingly, I did not say sorry. I say sorry more than I say “hi” or “I love you” or even more shockingly, “I’m tired”. I say sorry when I have nothing to really be sorry for, I say sorry if I’m in someone’s general airspace and almost bump into them, I say sorry so much that I once had an employer get legitimately mad at me everytime I said it.

But I am not sorry for this. Not even a little bit. Yesterday, I came to work a perfectly happy human being. One little thing sent me spiraling, crying in the Detroit Planned Parenthood bathroom, and then just 15 minutes later, into a full blown panic attack in the middle of the streets of Detroit, in my co ­ worker’s car. I haven’t been well the past two weeks. A co­-worker has told me several times that “I need to slow down”. So I am not sorry. And I’m grateful for co ­ workers and a boss who don’t require a sorry, who respect my needs.

A close personal friend texted me earlier this year, a page long message that I received unexpectedly at work and made me tear up and blush. In this message she told me “[I] do a really incredible job of taking care of [my]self ... [she] truly believes [I am] able to love other people well because [I] see the value in loving yourself well. [I] take what [I] need, and then [I] give love away out of that overflow.”

I printed this text out, hung it by my bed, and regularly look at it. Because everyone needs reminders to take care of themselves. I’m not sorry for taking care of myself, because when I am my best self, I am able to love others so well. No apology necessary.

Kayla closed the text by telling me I am worth it. I’m going to do the same ­ because I am worth it. And so are you.

Sarah Hively

Sarah Hively

Love’s Identity

Brittney Stevens // @pineapplefroyo

We have a lot of are’s attached to us. Think about it.

We are humans. We are students. We are siblings. We are parents. We are workers....and I’m certain we can both add more to the list.

One thing, though, that supersedes any title we can give ourselves is loved.

As in: We are loved.

If you think about it - or Google it, like I did - you may realize that the word “are” is a conjugation of our English verb “be” or the infinitive “to be.”

The definition of the word “be” is as follows:  to have identity with [something].

So the sentence “You are loved” means that you have identity in/with love.

Or in other words, Love is a part of your identity.

You know what that means, right?

Along with your name, your personality, your status, and anything else you identify yourself with, Loved is one of them.

Yes, this applies to you, sweet friend.

You are loved.

A label, a title, a birthright that outlasts any thing and any situation that can be thrown at you.  

You are proof that extraordinary things still walk the Earth, because love - the most powerful force in the world - abides within you.

That’s something you live with everyday.

That dwells in the core of your being.

Something that no thing can ever, ever

take away from you.

Brittney Stevens

Brittney Stevens

You are So Much More than Enough

By Ashlyn Harrelson

When did we (including myself) allow someone else to determine our worth?  Why do we allow one person or a group of people to decide that what we have to offer is valuable?  What causes us to base our worthiness on the acceptance of anyone other than ourselves?

It is time that we all start believing in ourselves and our abilities.  We all have something special to offer and just because one person or one group does not see it does not mean that no one else does or will. Self-love, just like finding your life purpose, just like meditation, just like a healthy lifestyle, just like mindfulness, takes practice.

This past week when my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. I immediately said to myself “today is going to be good” over and over again before I even turn the alarm on my phone off.  Before my feet hit the floor I have set the tone for my day.  Maybe this is overly simple but it’s where I am right now.  It’s been working too.  Everyday last week was a good day.  Sure there were stressful moments or things that did not go how I wanted but those were just moments in my day. My mindset was to have a good day and I refused to let anything change that.

Since my breakup, and even before it, I questioned myself a lot.  Was I pretty enough?  Was I intelligent enough?  Could I keep his attention?  How can I make him show me more love?  What do I need to do to get him to commit to me?

You were enough maybe you were too much maybe he prefers less and you deserve more.

And this is absolutely where the title of this blog comes into play.  Because I am more than enough.  I am more than enough for myself and I am more than enough for the right man.  I should never feel that I am not enough for someone.  I should know that I am a full person who is beyond worthy.

For about a month now I have repeated a few sentences to myself:  I am beautiful.  I am strong.  I am interesting.  I am loving.  I am deserving.  I am worthy.  I have a lot to offer.  I am enough.

No, this is not easy.  No, I do not always feel so certain about what I am telling myself. Especially when the one person who should have appreciated these parts of me did not see me as any of these things or as worthy.

It takes practice and I have promised to practice everyday because deep inside I know I am these and so much more.  My hope is that anyone who has ever felt unworthy or like they are not enough of anything will know that they were simply unappreciated.  And maybe it is going to take a lot of self-love and learning to appreciate yourself before anyone else recognizes it but the relationship you have with yourself is the most important.  How can you truly love another if you do not love yourself?  So work on yourself and the right people will come into your life when you are ready.

When you are broken and he has left you do not question whether you were enough the problem was you were so enough he was not able to carry it.

Ashlyn Harrelson

Ashlyn Harrelson