Mended Glass

I am currently in the beautiful city of Rome, and I wanted to share with you a quick reflection.

A time ago in my life there was an object: Glass. And it was absolutely everywhere.

My Glass

Through overwhelming rage hundreds of pieces of this object had found their way to the carpet of my bedroom, and had covered just about half of the room with one big mound and then plenty of tiny pieces scattered each and every way. And for weeks that glass stayed there. For weeks I danced with the idea of just giving in to my thoughts. For weeks I admired those broken pieces. And for weeks I saw myself in that glass: shattered and broken. For weeks…I did not pick up the glass.

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I had willingly chosen to leave it there. That glass was broken and severed, and I dwelled on the idea of one of them just finding me by some accident. Well, this dwelling went on for weeks and I had never felt so stuck. However, after an extremely difficult day emotionally and spiritually I simply could not take it any longer. And I cried. It was a cry so desperate, so vulnerable, and so broken. Yet, to my surprise it slowly evolved into tears streaming down my face with the biggest smile on my face.

And soon I was on my knees. And I was praying in a way I had never prayed before. I was relinquishing in a way I never knew I could. Overwhelming joy had taken over and I felt truly known and SO LOVED and I said the words, “Time doesn’t heal. You do.” And in that moment, surrounded by pieces of my broken glass, I gave my life to Jesus.

I immediately picked up every last piece of that broken glass.

It Stays

I would not be who I am today if that glass had never happened. I think about how much I related to this broken object that ultimately wasn’t there to hurt me, but was in fact the exact opposite. It was the catalyst to my saving and soul awakening. I know I struggle day to day, but because of that broken glass, months and months later, I know I am that broken glass just healed by my Savior. So, in the magical city of Rome I find myself thinking about it more and more. It gives me a multitude of emotions, but grateful is the first word that comes to mind. That broken glass was me, and to this day still is. It just happens to be a mended, loved, and beautiful mess of glass that exists inside of me now.

I Am broken and Unashamed

Everyone is broken in their own personal way, and what I thought was a weakness has actually been a powerful rediscovering tool for me. I absolutely believe that my broken glass is still a part of me, and I know if that broken glass never appeared before me I would not be here in Rome. I would not have made the decision to follow a dream I have had for years, and I would not be more graceful with myself for when I do struggle. Because of that glass I am not ashamed to say I’m healing from different parts of my journey that have brought me down, but only to have me rebuild myself up stronger. So I have a lot of faith in time to escape, refresh, and feel a little more inspired by all this world has to offer and to believe in what I can offer the world.

Rome to me is all about that broken glass. That glass is who I was, and through healing and being mended it continues to be me just less downhearted. So Rome is about rediscovering myself, loving this diverse world God has created, and believing in myself just a bit more. There are absolutely no expectations to this time in my life, except to give absolutely all of me to this experience and to not be afraid to share myself with the world.

All Of Me

It is naive to think that everything just dissapears after five weeks away from my everyday life, or to believe that being here somehow “cures” me. I do not want to be cured or seek something that I know I cannot find anywhere else but from God. So what I have firm faith in is my journey, and therefore what these next five weeks deserve from me is absolutely all of me. I am handing every single piece of my broken glass to Rome. They’re mended and still being worked on every day, but they are thankful for such an amazing place to be placed for some time to go through this life. There is no intention of completely healing me, but just the genuine hopes of creating something even better and stronger than what they were before.

Rome, I am excited to see what you make of this broken and wholehearted mess.

heaven

An open letter to my mom on her birthday

Happy birthday mom. The best way I know to tell you happy birthday is with my words…so here it is!

Mom

I think everyone has varying definitions of the word “mom” based off of their own mother, their experiences, and the relationship. So let me just tell you the definition of mom that I have gained over 21 years.

Mom- the creator and builder of who I am and the foundation I now have. The woman who picks me up when I’m low, and cheers me on when I’m high. The one person who knows me better than I know myself. The woman who showed me to go after what I want regardless of anything that may stop me, and to believe in myself always. That is what mom means to me.

In Awe Of You

I am 21 right now and what I can’t imagine doing is being a mother of a three year old, working, getting my education, being a wife, and somehow managing all of this when i can barely handle my schoolwork alone. I can’t imagine being able to sacrifice time for my family, and having to fight selfish feelings. I can’t imagine pursuing what I love when I am so tired. That right there is what you did. I can only hope to be half the amazing mom you are, and that I can be just as strong in who I am just as you are.

Thank You

You have taught me to love others, to be strong in who I am, have compassion, be crazy when necessary, and most importantly you have shown me what it means to be a resilient woman and to live with purpose. I see how hard you work to be good at what you do, and how you envision and then work for a better education experience. I am an empowered soul because I was raised by one empowered woman.

I Love You

You have given me life and sacrificed so much for me and the family. So on a day like today you deserve the world and more. I hope today on your birthday you feel how much you are loved, and know that to celebrate you is so easy and an honor. I wish I could be there with you but know I am sending lots of love and birthday wishes from Ames, Iowa.

To be loved by you is a God given blessing.

Happy 29th birthday mom

Heaven

Solitude is Sacred

Hey friends! Welcome to the first blog of 2019!

I have pushed off my first post of the New Year for one main reason. I needed time to write, keep it private, and find my authentic voice. And by finding my voice I mean finding my strong voice. The voice that I have slowly and surely grown into, and although there have been plenty of fallbacks, I seem to know this is the voice that makes me feel most powerful. It is my empowered voice.

Over the past month or so I have reflected on my blogs from this past fall and I can see how honest and vulnerable I was with you, however I can also see how broken I was. Gratefully I can say that that is not where I am anymore, and somehow I have conquered what my biggest fear was: the unknown that came with being alone. For the past five months I have navigated through a lot of firsts and plenty of ups and downs and I can say that it has been absolutely exciting. I most definitely do not know everything but I do know what I want out of this alone time. And with today being Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share what’s been on my heart to all my single (or not single) friends.. So I’ll discuss some clarity I have had recently thanks to me dreading Valentine’s Day for some time and then realizing that it isn’t what I have always made it out to be.

Love

God revealed to me that I was loving people wrong in every shape and form. I loved a boy more than I loved Him. I loved to be distant and impersonal with friends. I loved to keep everyone at bay. I loved to go through the motions with my faith. I loved to give half of myself to others. But He showed me that my decision to love that way wasn’t going to fulfill me any where close to the way He loves me. A failed relationship didn’t look as detrimental after I understood the meaning of true unconditional love from Him.

Love has shifted my viewpoints on every little thing, but most importantly on my friendships. Everyday I strive to love like Jesus. I strive to have grace, compassion, forgiveness, and loyalty. It is amazing to see how many friendships have flourished in the past few months thanks to effort, time, laughter, and most importantly Jesus. I have discovered how great it is to have humility and to value others above myself. Never in my life have I felt so loved by others, and I have never felt such love for others. Soon I realized love from one person wasn’t what I needed, but rather a village of people. So believe me that pure and genuine friends are absolutely good for the soul. (And they’re amazing when boys are stupid)

Independent

This word has become one of my top favorite words of 2019. I was absolutely terrified of being alone. To go from morning to night left alone with my own thoughts, my own flaws, and the idea of facing anything hard completely by myself scared me beyond words. I felt so desperately that I needed a rock. I needed someone to hold me up. I needed someone to guide me into which decisions I should make. What is great is that I can proudly say that isn’t me anymore. I am confident, resilient, tough, determined, and proud of how far I have come. I see the value in what I have to give, and I see the awesomeness in not feeling incomplete if I don’t have a guy there with me. A guy merely adds value to what I have to offer.

Ladies (and gentlemen if you happen to be reading this) I have come to the profound conclusion that the right guy will get it right. A guy will treat the one he wants for the rest of his life right because he WANTS to. You won’t have to worry about him changing his mind, because it’ll be so evident he wants it. So be pursued, and don’t worry. You are the prize, and you need to always remember that. If they’re willing to lose you well then their loss. I can finally sit here and say I’m pretty awesome because I know my God created me unique and special and I am absolutely loved by Him. You should believe and say the same my friends. The revelation that I won’t be happy until I am happy with myself has never stung so true. I am embracing every day eager to see how much more independent and bold I can grow.

So until you find “the one”…Embrace your independence. Focus on growth. Dwell in the solitude.

Solitude is sacred.

God took away what I wanted, and gave me exactly what I needed: alone time. I needed to get out of a relationship where I was only growing further from Him. I needed to grow up. I needed solitude. Time to myself has been the absolute most pure way of me figuring myself out throughout this insane journey. So for those reading this and can relate…see if you’re getting what you need and not what you want. Have some perspective. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason…so what one thing are you magnifying when you should zoom out and look at the whole picture?

I am the girl who went from dreading February 14th to embracing it for all that it can be. Today it means it’s about love in its best form with friends, family, and those that I care about. On a day focused about relationships I wanted this to just be a nice and honest read on a day that may have some people down. Don’t feel as if you’re missing out. And sure as hell don’t settle for someone because you feel lonely. Embrace the loneliness. Embrace your thoughts, your emotions, your flaws, and everything else that is you. If you want to be broken then be broken, but put yourself together stronger than you have ever been. I appreciate being broken and shaken. I needed that. But now I’m strong. Stronger than I have ever been.

Know that there is no shame in just being by yourself. To be an individual. To be in solitude. To be one rather than a pair.

I am one.

And being one is kind of bad ass.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Heaven xoxo

Be. A. Damn. Storm.

“Don’t let the lessons, the experiences of the past, dampen your enthusiasm for beginnings.”

– Melody Beattie

“Our job is not so much to go from here to there, but to wake up to own our current reality. To see it. To feel it. Accept it. Then take action to start living the life we dream of living. One breath, one step, one day at a time. Not later. Not tomorrow. But today. Right now.”

– Jonathan fields

__________________________

If I could go back and talk to myself one year ago from today what would I say? Well, I think it would look like this…

“Heaven, you are going to experience the most whirlwind of a year and it will not be what you want, but I promise you it is what you so desperately need. You will soon see how much of a fighter you really are, and your voice is important so when you find it do not be afraid to use it. 2018 is going to reveal to you everything and more that you are and what you stand for. This year will be good and bad, but do not be discouraged when the bad times come. Just always look up. Let those who want to leave go, and when loss strikes you just need to pray and pray and pray. The pain you will encounter is only temporary and who you are becoming is a beautiful storm.”

Now what would you tell yourself?

It is an odd thing to think about what you would tell your past self, but I believe our weaknesses and insecurities from this past year are revealed through this act, and by exposing them I truly believe we can use this to thrive in 2019. So with about a week until New Years I believe this is the ideal time to put true effort and thought into what you want out of this upcoming year. You and I can reflect, release, and grow.

R e f l e c t

On a scratch piece of paper I listed the good, the bad, and the growth from this past year. By doing this I was able to visually see who I was when I began 2018 and more importantly see who I am now as I end it. What I discovered is that I had written repeatedly all over my paper the word “deserve.” This word will be an anchor for me in the new year because this year showed me my worth. It showed me what my standards and my expectations are for myself and for those I let close to me. Not only do I see my worth, but I see what the people who I dearly love deserve as well. This isn’t what we deserve in materialistic things, but more in love, happiness, freedom, calmness, and joy. I realize how much I have changed this year, and I am thankful that I can say I am grateful for it. This blog being made is just one of many examples of how this year has changed me, and I realize I deserve to experience all the joy and love this world has to offer. And do you want to know something…

You do too.

R e l e a s e

The best way I can describe what “release” means to me is by asking you one simple question. Where is your energy going? Now truly be honest with yourself if where your energy is going is negative. Being able to recognize the positives and negatives of your life is essential to maintaining a healthy life. There is no secret to releasing anything, but you must find a way in order to move forward into this new year. It allows you to release the weight and truly be grateful for the good of this past year. Do not be ashamed of releasing what isn’t positive in your life because at the end of it all your happiness is what matters. Each and every one of you deserve to be vibrant and joyful, so release the ugly, and choose happy.

I’m going to be completely transparent and say that this is the first year where I have felt as though I absolutely cannot wait to release a year. This is the first year where I have actually had to release hatred from my heart, doubts from mind, and emptiness from my soul. This year has been quite the downhill fall but my uphill battle has been nothing but incredible and soul surrendering. I know the 2018 pain has prepared me for a beautiful 2019. With a grateful heart I can graciously say I am ready for a new beginning, and to grow into who I am meant to be.

G r o w

You have the freedom to create anything you want out of 2019. Just think about that. You have the ability to plant yourself and bloom into the most glorious version of you. Just envision that. View the closing of this door as an opportunity, and boldly open the door to 2019. When you open it I ask each and every one of you that you do not run to your comfort, but instead run to what scares you and what causes you uncertainty. Inspiring and truthful growth is only found when you step out of your comfort zone, so embrace your fears, and welcome them as your friend instead. Be intentional in all you do. Love intentionally. Forgive intentionally. Listen intentionally. Grow intentionally. This year I pray that your growth is a mixture of new beginnings and hidden gems inside you that come to the surface. Always remember your growth isn’t a destination, but in 2019 remember each day is an opportunity to live in a way you never have before. By doing so I know you will evolve into the most beautiful storm.

S t o r m

Through all of the chaos from this year I had a moment where I truly thought my life had turned into a storm. I felt my life was dark and grey but then I realized that instead of being in a storm I would choose to be the storm. I took control of my fears and my pain and soon became fierce, empowering, and intentional. That to me is the definition of a storm. I firmly believe we are all a storm in our own unique way, but you have to decide to be one. I chose to be a storm, and I full heartedly can say “I am a storm” with all of my conviction. For me it has created a strong and unstoppable mindset. This mentality will be with me as I take on 2019, for I will shake grounds and engulf those I love and know with all of my love and encouragement. What is your definition of a storm and are you that? If not let the passive part of you go and be resilient and find that unbreakable you. It is easier said than done but I have faith that 2019 will be an uproar of storms taking on the world to spread love. So step into 2019 a world changer. Be. A. Damn. Storm.

As this is my fourth and last blog of the 2018 year I wanted to say thank you for the love and support. 2018 brought me this blog that I so dearly love, and I cannot wait to see what there is to write down in 2019.

I will see y’all in the New Year

All my love

heaven

how is your heart doing?

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.”

– Paulo Coelho

__________________________

A question I had been asked this past fall on multiple occasions was one of the most endearing and loving questions I think everyone needs to be asked: How is your heart doing? It really took my by surprise the first time I was asked because I had never had someone express their concern solely for my heart and I realized I had never examined my heart to that extent. But sure enough when I did examine it I discovered that it was heavy and brutal. Sorrow and hurt were buried deep within me, and that part of me was withering away. Aching and sadness lived in me, and it was odd because they were pains I thought I had moved on from.

I realized two things I had appreciated all of my life were the root of my pain. Love, something I so dearly valued had finally hurt me. Life, something I so greatly enjoyed had finally taken someone from me. I had never experienced loss or pain and somehow I was struck with it twice for the first time in my life in such a short window of time. How was I suppose to recover from that or even know how to handle it at the very least? Well…I needed to feel it first .

F e e l i t

The natural instinct of humans is try and run away from our emotions that cause us pain and hurt. So believe me when I say I ran as fast as I could because I despised how overwhelmed it made me. Yet, I had to face my true pain so I had to really ask myself: How was my heart? It was neglected. I had somehow tricked myself to believe that when the tears had stopped I was completely okay. I made myself believe that I was just strong and moving on, but I was lying to myself. That’s why it is so vital to release what you are repressing, because for me I had fooled myself based off my outwardly actions and the facade I had created. I was in denial mentally and emotionally and so finally I felt it. I went through all of the words, the loss, the aches and the lies I convinced myself that I was.

What I learned is that you can’t run. If you’re hurting then feel it. It was one of the most emotionally overwhelming and heart wrenching moments to sit there and let everything I was suppressing be released. The beauty in the sorrow is that once you feel it you can truly feel the joy of all that does exist in your life. You’re reminded of what goodness is when you feel your pain, and your gratitude increases. So when finally felt all of it I was prepared to eventually let myself forgive.

F o r g i v e

How do you forgive a boy who breaks your heart in one of the most cowardly ways possible? Who taints years of love with his decision to treat you as though you have no worth? You dig deep and find a way to forgive. This was one of the hardest things I had to do and face when I addressed my heart. I was angry at him in a way words couldn’t describe, and it was crushing me. My spirit, my smile, my mental state, and my heart were all wrenched in hate. Yet when I forgave I took back my strength. I took back my heart, my power, my love, my grace, and my identity. My heart was released of any hatred and burden that had filled me up. I felt grace and love and excitement towards my faith and felt restored in strength.

How do you forgive a loss that you have no control over? You learn to trust in His plan. My dog was my sweet love, and the loss of him was heart wrenching. I watched him breath his last breath and that had been something I wanted so desperately to forget. I attempted to downplay the weight of him leaving me, and the guilt this caused me was brutal. It caused me distress and uncontrollable emotion so I tried to forget it all. I hated that death had struck me, and I didn’t know hatred would be an emotion I would experience through it. But I did. And I had to forgive Jester for getting old and sick. I had to forgive life for taking him in a time in my life when I already felt so fragile. I thought it was cruel and simply mean. But, eventually I felt the love Jester brought me overshadowed any hurt I had. The love he gave me and everyone else was so special and unique, and when my heart had this transformation I felt renewed.

R e n e w a l

The absolutely most important part of this entire season of pain and brokenness is that I ran to Jesus and my faith was renewed. I found my heart transforming in the way I loved, the way I spoke, the way I listened, and the way I thought. I considered that time of my life my storm and I didn’t look out of the storm for Jesus but rather I looked and found him in it. This was the very first message I heard right after heartbreak, and let me tell you how reassuring and restoring that was to hear. I heard God and found him revealing himself to me through dancing and through people, and these people were my incredible friends and mentors. They lifted me, encouraged me, danced with me, held me up when I was weak, and spoke God’s love for me over and over.

Feeling renewed was an absolutely necessary and refreshing feeling. Never in my life have I felt so aware of my emotions, aware of my mental state, or aware of who and what I am and believe in. Anxiety, something I had struggled immensely with in the past year is no longer something that overtakes me. My heart was able to release the things weighing it down and gain new purpose, pure passion, and new love. Transformation and growth were embraced with open arms by my heart.

H o w i s y o u r h e a r t

I believe there are a lot of hearts that are hurting and they’re crying out for help. Not only are they crying out to others to hear but for their own self to hear as well. This is why I have written and released this writing, which had started off as a way for my own release. I believed that publishing it after I felt more recovered or more ideally in a better place would be better, but somewhat not true or real, and I felt this needed to be as raw and honest as possible. So here it is, my vulnerability extended in every way I could possibly imagine. I would have never addressed these emotions if I had not been asked this simple question. So I ask each of you reading this: How is YOUR heart doing?

I pray that whoever is reading this that your heart is okay. I pray that it is strong, abundant in joy and love, grateful, spirited, and simply happy. But if your heart is not I pray that your heart is resilient, patient, faithful, still loving when it may be hard, and on a journey that is meant for your growth. Embrace your heart if you are one of the ones hurting, and have faith that it is a blessing in disguise. So listen to what your heart has to say…reflect on it and embrace it.

all of my heart

heaven