i can only imagine

Saturday, March 31, 2018

hi friends!

i just got back from seeing i can only imagine with my mom and i'm pretty sure you need to go see it too because holy moly was it amazing! but really there were a couple things that stuck with me, 1. priscilla shirer was in the movie, which for some reason reminded me of christine caine's talk at passion, probably because i needed to hear the truth from her talk again. 2. bart's manager said to him, "what are you running from?" and then told bart to "embrace it" 3. no matter how much your (my) life is falling apart, Jesus is never ever ever ever (a million times ever) going to abandon you (me).

so yeah, let me expand on these all a little bit more!

one. christine caine's main point during her passion talk was "who told you?" and lately i've been really down on myself and feeling super unworthy and just unlovable. you guys probably think i have my life altogether, especially since i wrote a blog post on the topic of being unlovable, but honestly, i don't have it all together. i write these posts for me so that when i am feeling this way, i can look back and read the truth. anyways back to christine's talk. so during this movie, i saw priscilla and i instantly thought of christine and instantly thought, "who told me i was unworthy and unlovable?" Jesus sure didn't say that. i mean Jesus thought i was worthy and lovable, enough so that He died for me. so why do i let my depression and anxiety spew lies in my life? why do i let past events tell me who i am? because man, i am forgiven, i am worthy, i am loved, i am lovable, and i am pretty freaking awesome. so that being said, i need to remember that it only matters what God says about me, not what anyone else, myself included, says about me.

two. "what are you running from?" a lot. "embrace it" how? how should i do that God?
i am going to journal about this tonight, see what God says to me and for once listen to Him. i encourage you to do the very same thing. tell Him what you're running from and ask Him how you can embrace it.

three. last week was a rough week. i was extremely panicky and anxious, i just wanted to curl up in a ball and never leave my bed. i'm not even going to lie, i think i cried every single day of the week because of how overwhelmed i was. but hey, even when i was crying, i was talking to God. i was thanking God every single day that i was alive, that i was feeling emotions, that because of Him i still felt joyful. so you know, even when my life feels like it's falling apart, and i swear it has fallen apart a lot before, Jesus is so freaking cool and will never leave me. and even when He's silent, He's still there.

so yeah man, go see i can only imagine! maybe God will use it to reach out to you in unthinkable ways! and happy easter! Jesus is alive. and He is alive every single day!

xoxo, aubs

spring thoughts

Saturday, March 24, 2018

hello beautiful humans!

it's officially spring! which means that the time changed about a week ago, the sun is out longer, it's getting above 32 degrees most days, seasonal depression is diminishing, and finals are right around the corner.

since it's a new season, i thought i'd give you some thoughts of mine!

01. kombucha is almost as good as water. i've been drinking kombucha almost every day and i absolutely love it! as of late, i am drinking the kevita pineapple peach, like it's going out of style. friends! go to the store and get yourself a kombucha so we can reap the benefits together!

02. leave the past in the past. i keep looking back at my old poetry from my book (from when i was 17) and i get so discouraged because i wrote some of the best work when i was 17 and now i'm 20 and struggling. but ladies and gentlemen, we need to stop looking at our past work, past relationships, past lives; we live in the present and good things will come from this time too.

03. sometimes God put people in your life for one reason; that they need someone to be praying for them. i feel like this happened to me very recently, it's hard to distinguish a person's purpose in your life or even your purpose in theirs. But if God tells you to pray for them, you do it out of obedience, even if it's the last thing you want to do.

04. having gratitude can really change your way of living. recently, i started writing at least five things i am thankful for each day; this has reminded me that there are always things to be thankful for, even when my life feels like it's falling apart. so take a second today, take out that journal, and write five things you're thankful for.

05. eyebrows are annoying and i'm about to grow mine into a unibrow so i can look like frida kahlo. my mom says i could be frida's twin if i grew out my unibrow and mustache, so i say let's do this! i am so very sick of paying to get my eyebrows waxed every two weeks, so why not? this was my one random and out there thought for you, but really all my thoughts are random.

so friends! there are some random spring thoughts for you! i need to take some outdoorsy photo since it's nice out and bring you some aesthetically pleasing posts! 

butterfly effect

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

would you really change the past if you had the option? your future might change along with the present. is it worth it? would you do it? 

do you ever wish you could go back in time and change something you did or said? i know i've thought about that before, like "hey God if you could just give me one more chance not to do that thing or say those words, things would be so much better." but really, if you could change things, should you? most definitely not. have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? not the song, but like the theory? well, i'll tell you about it. so the butterfly effect is the theory that if you went back in time and changed one little thing, then really everything would spiral out of control and everything at this very moment would be different.

i'll give you a real life example here. okay so let's go back into time when aubrey (me) was looking at colleges. i toured grand valley, cornerstone, hope, and calvin. i was 99.99% sure i was going to go to cornerstone and become a youth pastor. that was my goal, but obviously God had bigger, better plans for me and i ended up at grand valley. but let's pretend for a second that i went to cornerstone. i wouldn't have met so many people that i call my best friends, i wouldn't have found an amazing church that i now call home, i wouldn't have met the love of my life (kidding, still haven't met him yet. maybe i would have if i didn't go to gvsu(woah, butterfly effect)), and i honest to God probably wouldn't be writing a blog post about the butterfly effect.

isn't this such a wild thing to think about?

so i guess all that being said, never regret any decisions you make in life. chances are, if you were to change a small decision you made in the past, the present and the future would look inevitably different, maybe even worse.

so ladies and gentlemen, go live your life with this new piece of knowledge and stop living with regrets, you can't change the past and if you could, you wouldn't want to.

xoxo, aubs 

inner workings of my brain

Monday, February 19, 2018

welcome to my brain. my brain is a collection of many weird thoughts, anxieties, motivators, etc. but today, i'm just going to share a couple weird thoughts i've had recently and just elaborate on them. so let's begin, shall we?

okay, time is literally only a concept, but we let it dictate so much of our lives. what time we will wake up, what time we have class, what time we eat, what time we sleep, what time we go out on dates, what time we hang out with friends, etc. time dictates every aspect of our lives, but time is just a concept created by humans. time isn't even a real thing, like yes God made day and night, but he didn't specifically say "the sun will set at blah blah blah time" or "everyone will eat at this time." time is just a restraint that mankind created to make our lives easier to live, but i seem to find that time sometimes makes my life harder. so maybe we just need to take some time and ponder on how much not having time is holding us back.

now for my next thought, i have a question for you all. are you living how you want to live or are you living how society wants you to live? looking at my own life, i seem to find that a lot of the time i'm living how society wants me to live. society wants me to go to college, society wants me to drive a nice car, society wants me to find a husband, society wants me to have children. i mean i also want to go to college and get married and have children. but, if society didn't want me to do those things, would i feel the pressure to do them? probably not. it's weird how much society influences us or holds us back. society says i am a millennial, therefore society already declared that i am not a hard worker, that i won't have a successful love life, that i'll fail over and over again. but that's not even true, because i don't follow society's rules, i follow God's rules. this thought kind of reminds me of christine caine's talk from passion. she questioned us all, "who told you?" who told you, you needed to go to college? who told you, that you needed to find a spouse right now? who told you, that you'll never be successful? God never said these things, therefore they can't be true.

i wake up at 5 am everyday, even though my alarm is set for 7 am. why do i wake up at the same time everyday? maybe it's because i'm not spending enough time with God and He's trying to tell me something. i know that's what it has been in the past, so maybe He's trying to reach me again. maybe it's just my anxiety waking me up and freaking me out, it's also been that before. maybe it's because i have a poet's brain and can't keep my thoughts at bay, even when i'm sleeping. i've written some of my best lines, while being half asleep. it really could be a variety of things.

i'm seriously just trying to get you all to think about some things, that i'm sure you've questioned before.

so here's another one. how do we actually know how were feeling, if we have a word for every emotion? do we actually know what emotions are or are they just words? do we actually know what happiness is or sadness? do we know what hurt feels like? hurt is just a word, not a feeling. if you feel like your heart is being ripped into pieces, do you think hurt justifies that feeling? if you can't get out of bed or stop the tears from flowing, are you really just sad? emotions are just words that we gave meaning to, it's actually so weird to me.

okay, here's another thought for you all. why is halsey sooooo relatable? i'm just listening to her music and it's all just so relatable. like girl my life is falling apart too, but i'm still loving life. remember when i met halsey and cried? same. she's just such an inspiring force, don't @ me.

i was going to end this post and mentioned i was crazy, so now i have another random thought about craziness. so ya'll probably think i'm crazy, which i am. we are all crazy, some more than others. you just have to decide how crazy you want to be and then one day you'll find someone who likes your crazy and you like theirs. wait, so we're basically searching for someone who will compliment our craziness! isn't that just crazy?

i am done scaring you with my thoughts, hope i got you thinking about some of these things. tweet me about your crazy thoughts, i'm curious!

xoxo, aubs

excerpt from my journal no. 43

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

it has almost been a year since i posted a journal excerpt, which is actually really hard to believe. i don't remember why i stopped posting them. so i guess to make up for it, here is a poem i recently wrote about red lights (inspired by the song "red" by miki ratsula).

01/28/18 untitled
i want to kiss you
at every red light
both figuratively and literally 

i want to kiss you
when life gets hard
and when shit happens

i want to kiss you
in the 30 seconds we have 
at each intersection

i want to kiss you

okay that is it. lol bye. it's not about anyone in particular so don't ponder on that too much (or is it? i guess you'll never know)

xoxo, aubs

caffeine dreaming

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

a college student's key to success: coffee + tea + energy drinks. but are all these things really good for us? is it good to constantly feed ourselves stimulants or is it really making things worse? should we really be proud to say we had six cups of coffee or three red bulls? or should we actually be worried? i think we should be worried about our caffeine consumption.

the majority of college students suffer from some form of mental illness, most commonly, anxiety and depression. and did you know that caffeine and sugar are two of the leading causes of anxiety? isn't that crazy that we constantly consume things that can increase our anxiety?

i mean that's what happened to me. i was drinking about five or six cups of coffee a day; three to tame the headaches and two to three to keep myself awake and alert. but i was also ridden with constant anxiety. i was overdoing it for sure. my anxiety was so bad that my therapist from maven said i should try cutting back to 3 cups a day and work myself down to one or none. (yo, check out maven for real. it's such a great service! use my code for a 10 min appointment credit GRANDVALLEYAS) i don't like to do things half way, so i just decided to cut coffee out of my life all together. that was in october and now it's january and i maybe have a cup of coffee once a month. in october when i gave up coffee, i felt so many withdrawal symptoms and it even made my anxiety and depression worse for a while. i was making dumb decisions (nothing dangerous, just dumb). but soon the caffeine withdrawal symptoms subsided and i felt like a human again. i woke up feeling less anxious (it wasn't gone, because as you know anxiety doesn't just disappear) and i even started sleeping better. it's crazy how much better i feel without caffeine.

now i'm not saying caffeine is bad because sometimes you really just need it to get through the day (like right now i'm consuming a red bull because i got 4 hours of sleep last night, i have to work a closing shift, and because red bull sent me some in the mail), but i am saying that it's not good to depend on it. caffeine isn't good when it becomes something you're addicted to, when you need it to get you through the day. caffeine is a drug, an extremely addictive one, that not many people think about. are you addicted to caffeine? are you ridden with anxiety? do you feel like a robot? yeah? you might want to think about cutting back on caffeine. you might start to feel more like yourself again.

christmas eve eve

Saturday, December 23, 2017

hey friends! it's been awhile, but i'm back. i don't know about you, but winter kind of puts me in a deep hole. i mean it is scientifically proven that winter can make depression and anxiety worse, hence why i haven't blogged since november (oops).

but like seriously, does anyone else feel like the holidays are just about the busyness, stress, chaos, craziness, etc? i mean it's Christmas eve eve and i still haven't ordered my dad his Christmas present, i haven't given my secret santa the second half of her gift yet, my face is breaking out like there is no tomorrow, my eczema is attacking me, and don't even get me started on my depression. i just feel like i've forgotten why we even celebrate Christmas. can you relate? i'm sure you can, because you are human, aren't you?

i don't want to just talk about stress and depression, because that's not what this post is for (peep a future post maybe). i want to give myself and maybe you some steps you can take on this Christmas eve eve to center yourself with God and remember the reason why we're celebrating.

before i give us these steps, because we are in this together, let me just set the scene and tell you the story of Christmas. so now imagine you're sitting in your snowflake pajama pants, sipping on a warm beverage. the tree is adorned with soft white lights and ornaments from your childhood. the fire is crackling and Christmas classics are playing in the distance. you spot the manger under the Christmas tree, portraying the greatest event of all time, the birth of our Savior.

approximately 2020 years ago, a baby was born. this baby wasn't just any baby, He was born to a young virgin woman, in a manger, surrounded by animals. this baby was God in the flesh, He was to be light in a dark world. He came to save sinners, to love the broken, to take the punishment that we all deserve. yeah presents are pretty cool, but what's even cooler is that God came down to earth in the most vulnerable form, a baby, to give us the gift of salvation.

so now that you've been reminded of the greatest thing that has ever happen, let's move onto some steps you can take to remember this everyday of the year, but especially through the next few days when chaos tries to overwhelm you.

01) sit and listen. right when you wake up just sit and listen. don't say anything. just let God speaks to you. we typically grab our phones and see what everyone is up to before we can even hear God's voice. He might have something really important to tell you, so take a second and breathe.

02) open your Bible. try opening to a random page and just start reading. underline anything that stands out to you. ponder on words that you need to hear.

03) grab a pen and some paper. write out your thoughts. i'm not a good talker, but i like to think i'm a good writer. maybe you'd rather just talk to God, either way, He'll hear what you have to say. He wants to spend time with you.

04) go to church. attend a Christmas eve service or even a Christmas day service. if you're in the metro detroit area check out northridge church tomorrow. and if you're in the grand rapids area check out crossroads tomorrow or on Christmas.

05) ask for help. many times we feel like we're weak when we ask for help, but i think we're more weak when we pretend we're fine. we are all broken, so seek help if you need it. talk to a pastor, talk to a friend, or talk to a mental health professional(use code GRANDVALLEYAS). God gave us resources, it's time we use them.

so i hope these helped you out, because now i'm gonna go spend some time with the man who started this all, Jesus. hopefully i'll be back to blog after Christmas, if not it'll be after passion (oh yeah I'm going to passion in dc! if you'll be there tweet me, or tweet me even if you're not going.) anyways, Merry Christmas friends! love you all lots.

xoxo, Aubrey