Christmas Wishes

Making wishlists has always been one of my favorite things about birthdays and the holidays. There's something so fun about dreaming up all the pretty things! This year, it took me awhile, though. Since my family is in the midst of a move and we're going through EVERYTHING we own, I realize I don't need much else. Wishing, though... Wishing is always fun. :)

Stitch Fix Gift Card - For all my future fixes! Stitch Fix quickly became an obsession around here!

- I haven't owned the 1st or 2nd, but I absolutely love ALL of the colors in the 3rd!

Better Life Bag - I've been wanting one FOREVER, but can't quite decide on an exact design!

Lace Boot Cuffs - How much cuter would these make a simple outfit with leggings?! Pretty sure I'd never wear anything else!

Eat, Blog, Love Mug - I've been eyeing up this Crystal Faye mug for far, far too long! Sipping on coffee while blogging would be so much more adorable. ;)

Hot Pink Northface Jacket - I LIVE IN MINNESOTA AND DON'T OWN A NORTHFACE. I know, I know. This one speaks for itself!

Sleep Aromatherapy Set - Lavender is my favorite thing for pain relief + relaxation lately, especially since it's migraine season for moi!

Photoshop Elements 12 - I've been debating about purchasing it for a long time, but I'm so scared I won't know what to do with it once I have it! It's time to take the plunge!

What are your Christmas wishes this year?!


"You Blog?" The Deep Version

Back in June, I wrote a lighthearted post titled "You Blog?". Essentially, it was about the funny looks I often get when people find out I'm a blogger. The confused expressions. The goofy questions.

Underneath that, though, there was something a little deeper.

I'm a high school student. It surprises me how many of my readers don't know that until I blatantly write it in a post, but it is, in fact, the truth. ;) A few times, I've been approached by people I go to school with and they've jokingly made a comment or two about my "online life." Whether it's a comment about how often I tweet, a comment about how there's "ALWAYS something wrong with me," or a comment about how I constantly take pictures of my outfits... It actually hurts.

Because while I'm Kenzie... The teenage version... I'm also an aspiring writer. I'm also a face of chronic pain. I'm also best friends with people I've never actually met in real life. I also honestly and transparently share my struggles through posts on this blog... For all to see.

I know that's my choice, and let me tell you, it's a choice I CHOOSE to make DAILY. I make that choice because writing is what makes me feel good. I used to think I wasn't good at anything. I don't play sports, I don't sing (well), and I'm not a 4.0 student. But when I discovered that I could WRITE... Real, honest, and raw things straight from my heart... When I discovered that I could make my voice heard... That's when I discovered there was so much more to the person I was created to be than even I know. My blog is a direct representation of ME. Sharing my story has changed perspectives. It has encouraged hearts. And to me, that's really, really beautiful. It's something I will always be proud of.

So when you make those comments and I shrug it off, fake laugh, and move on with my day... Please remember that I do this for the community I've been surrounded by. For the 1,000 positive comments that outweigh the negative one. For other teens struggling with chronic pain scattered all across the world. For the people who look through my archives for inspiration. For ME.

Please remember that if being in this space is not making a positive difference in your life, you can click the little red X in the corner.

Yes, I blog. And yes, I'm proud of who I am. As a writer, as an advocate, as a person, and as everything else that God created me to be.


I Don't Know When It's Gonna Happen, But...

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... I'm going to write a book. Maybe it'll be a memoir. Maybe it'll be a biography. Whatever it is, it's going to be good for my heart and my biggest dream come true.

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... I'm going to be a nurse. I'm going to work with kids who have been diagnosed with autoimmune diseases and I'm going to advocate for them. Wherever I am, I'll love my job.

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... I'm going to have long hair. Long, luscious, put-it-in-a-sock-bun kinda hair. And I'm totally not going to wash it every day.

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... I'm going to go on a missions trip to Africa. My heart wants to go to Kenya, but I know any place there would be more than sufficient. I want to use my GIVE personality to touch lives a million miles away.

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... My arthritis is going to go into remission. I'm not going to be taking any more medications and hospital's won't feel like my home away from home anymore. Whenever that is, I'm still going to be grateful for the journey I've been on.

I don't know when it's gonna happen, but... I'm going to adopt three babies and have two of my own. I'm going to love them with a wild, passionate love and I'm going to feel complete.


My Dorothy Shoes

WHAT I'M WEARING :: VEST //  Kohl's ::  TOP // Local Boutique :: SCARF // Vanity :: JEANS // Kohl's :: SHOES // c/o Kandals

There aren't many things that beat a comfy pair of shoes... Can I get an amen? And a girl can never go wrong with a pair of bright red ones. I feel like all my shoes are either brown boots or neutral colored flats, so when I found these beauties, I knew I needed to be adventurous and add them to my wardrobe.

My favorite look of all {so far} is mixing them with a little plaid/flannel + skinnies. You can't go wrong with that classic red combo for fall! I call them my Dorothy shoes and I plan to wear the heck out of them before snow gets too deep here in Minnesnowta... :)

Linking up with The Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirBecause Shanna Said SoGet Your Pretty OnTucker Up, & Vodka Infused Lemonade!


Anger Is Just Sad's Bodyguard

It takes a lot to say you're letting something go. What's even harder is putting your hands up, admitting you have no control, and attempting to move on from whatever it may be... In a timely manner. It's difficult because what we're walking away from is most often familiar and therefore, we naturally think we need it.

I've been riding the deep thoughts train for about a month now. I've been slowly letting go of things that suck the energy out of me. Truly, it's been exhilarating. Completely freeing. Even still, I'm left with feelings of resentment and exhaustion.

There definitely isn't a direct key that leads to happiness, but I know the one that leads to sadness loves to partner up with anger. Together, the two appear unbeatable. They capture you between the desire to yell and the desire to cry. They leave you stuck not knowing how to explain how you feel and most importantly, they prevent you from moving on.

I'm convinced that anger is just sadness covered up. It's an emotion that's become distorted between us as humans because our instinct is to always put on "the face." 

"I'm fine."
"I don't need help."
"I'm not upset."

We tend to forget that emotions were created to represent our heart. We tend to forget that our feelings are meant to be shared. I don't know about you, but I've never been changed, affected, or touched something that's been kept inside.

Emotions need to be displayed. Stories need to be told. 

Otherwise, moving on never takes place. Growth never occurs. Progress is never made.

Today, I'm coming to terms with the way I feel and I'm going to be honest about it. My word for 2013 was honesty and I realize that I haven't addressed that to its fullest extent in my life yet. I've worked through a lot of things this year, but I've avoided that one because I know it won't be an easy task.

I'm confident that there are far more wonderful things ahead than any of those I'm leaving behind... And I'm confident there is GRACE for when I fall, fail, and feel like giving up.


When Things Change

I've hated change with a passion since a very young age.

On my tenth birthday, my family's home burned down and we were forced to move in with an aunt and uncle of mine. I had sleepovers at cousins' houses, playdates with my friends, and weekends with my grandparents. My siblings and I bounced around while my parents sorted through the wreckage and tried to make sense of it all.

I don't blame anyone for making me this way, but I can definitely understand how our circumstances caused me to become a woman with an outrageous type A, give-me-a-long-term-plan, status quo, attitude. Change will always be hard because it reminds me of a time when I was forced to change. It no longer feels like a choice to me.

What I've found, though, is that things always change when we have the least control over it. Some plans just don't work out. Some friendships just fade away. Some things just aren't meant to be. Situations change, we change, and eventually we are not who we used to be. Things are different... And that's okay.

I wish there were some easy way for me to turn into a free-spirited girl without a care in the world. I wish I could adapt to change easier and not hold onto the past so much. Unfortunately, wishing those things isn't going to make a change. The switch happens when I make a choice to let change in. It happens when I choose to embrace it.

People will leave.
Situations will change.
I will grow.

It's inevitable and it's BEAUTIFUL.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the Heavens...
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

I'm thankful Jesus knows what I need, when I need it, and where He'll meet me. He's always saving us like that, you know. There's no way He'll ever let us down because when things change, He only ever stays the same.


Layers & Blessed Friendships

WHAT I'M WEARING :: VEST //  Kiki La'rue ::  DRESS // Kiki La'rue :: NECKLACE :: Molly Suzanne // BRACELETS :: Target // LEGGINGS :: Forever 21 // BOOTS :: JCPenny

Last Saturday, after a LONG week with my lovely new mono diagnosis, I was zonked out on the couch. When I woke up, my mom brought me a package. I was crazy confused because I hadn't ordered anything and the return address was Kiki La'rue - my favorite online boutique. When I tore into it, I saw that it was a vest and maxi dress I'd been loving for weeks, but hadn't purchased quite yet. The note on the invoice was from my amazing, encouraging, and beautiful friend Erica who loves Kiki La'rue just as much as I do! Um, WHAT?!

These friendships are the kind I am unworthy of. They are the ones that makes me feel worth something. Thought of. LOVED. Encouraged. Happy. While I am completely unworthy, as I am of every other blessing I've been given, I realize that the Lord's grace allows these blessings into my life... And for that, I am just plain grateful. It's only appropriate that I'm reminded of how blessed I am with certain friendships with Thanksgiving right around the corner!

The fit of this dress, which is a "boyfriend" style maxi, is seriously perfection. Super comfy + loose fitting which I love. It's a little long on me, but I'd choose a long dress over a short one ANY day. ;) The vest runs true to size and is an spectacular layering piece for fall + winter. I can't wait to add a scarf to it as it gets colder! I also added leggings and boots... Because while I look like I'm enjoying the fall weather in these photos, it's 10 degrees here, people! I'm determined to keep my maxi dresses alive this season. ;)


When I Choose Him

I've been happy on the outside lately. Smiley and giggly. Wild and a little reckless. It's fun to live life that way.

On the inside, though, I've just been desperately tying to take the high road. Can I just admit something? I'm a grudge holder. It's a weakness I pray through every.single.day.

When people aren't supportive of me, it's hard to take the high road.
When I hear something I don't want to hear, it's hard for me to take the high road.
When things don't go the way I want them to, it's hard for me to take the high road.

I didn't realize until the other day that the reason it's so hard for me to take that darn road is because I  continually put the pressure on myself to find and follow it. I forget that no part of me is the high road.

Jesus is the high road.

So, I run to Him. With my doubt, my failures, my bad attitude, and my weaknesses. I run to Him with my hurt, my insecurities, and the places I fall short. In my brokenness, He leads me to the high road. He leads me to His heart, He reminds me of my worth, and He whispers, "I AM the high road."

It makes me feel better... Knowing that, I mean. Knowing that my brokenness can't leave me shattered, my sin can't leave me evil, and the chains of this world can't hold me captive when I choose Him.

When I choose Him, I choose assurance. I am given oodles of grace. I receive mercy that I don't deserve. When I choose Him, I am changed and I am blessed. When I choose Him, no matter how ridiculous my behavior has been, I am forgiven. I am cherished. I am loved.

When I choose Him instead of bitterness, I am choosing the high road.


10 Things That Suck About Being A Woman

Back when school started, I wrote this frilly, optimistic post on how being a woman rocks. I was scrolling through my archives yesterday and figured it was about time for the sequel.

Brace yourselves and enjoy this alarming photo of yours truly acting certifiably crazy... In a public history museum, no less...

Can anyone else tell that this post was written following a rough Monday...? ;)

one || At least three and sometimes up to seven whole days out of EVERY month, our insides hate us. This typically results in rage, being declared "certifiably crazy," and usually leads to the next reason...

two || Boys are always calling us a "spaz." What even is that? I'M NOT A "SPAZ" OKAY?

three || Remember all the chocolate I talked about eating in this post? Yeah. It goes straight to your gluteus maximus, so ya might wanna rethink that.

four |We get poked in the eye by God awful mascara wands more times than we can count and it still hurts the same every.single.time.

five || People always laugh at and mock our mean voices. Like, NO. I am a woman. HEAR ME ROAR.

six || We're pretty much always a hot minute away from mental breakdowns and ruining our makeup for the day. One wrong move... One wrong word...

seven || We tend to overthink things. And by "things" I mean anything and absolutely everything,

eight || People always stop playing with our hairrrrrrrrrrrr. Again, NO. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT FOREVERRRRR.

nine || Oh, you say you like cats? Even one time? You're a cat lady. No if's, and's, or's, or but's about it. Meow.

ten || Think about your morning routine. Personally, I spend about an hour getting ready everyday. Son of a nutcracker... THAT'S A LOT OF FREAKING TIME. FML.

I'm giving you a chance to complain, ladies. Let's hear it! What totally sucks about being a woman?


"Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel."

In February, I wrote about what God was teaching me about patience. In May, I wrote about what He was teaching me about understanding. He taught me these things while I was in the midst of applying/hoping to get accepted into the PSEO program at Bethel University. In between then and now...amazing, heartbreaking, and bittersweet things have happened. They've changed and grown me in ways I'll never be able to explain. 

Long story short, I didn't get accepted to the program. I will never, ever forget the way my heart sunk when I read that letter. I felt defeated and exhausted. Something I had worked and prayed incredibly hard for was out of my control. The results were in and they weren't what my heart wanted so badly.

I kept having faith, though...and that's the moral of this story. God had spoken to me at a worship service months prior to me applying for the program and He said, "Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel." That being said, I believed with all my heart God would do what He said He would. I just didn't know when.

Senior year rolled around and now we're here...three months in. I started touring schools and applying to places I feel like God could use me. I prayed over my choices and decided to apply to St. Kate's (in St. Paul), University of Oklahoma (in Norman), Evangel University (in Springfield, Missouri), and finally...Bethel University...again.

Submitting my Bethel application a second time was a direct opportunity for the devil to reveal fear and insecurity to me in ways I still cannot comprehend. There were nights I actually regretted submitting it at all. My faith was at an all time low and I responded to that fear by ignoring it. I didn't dig into scripture. I didn't blare my worship music. I didn't pray about it anymore. I almost entirely forgot that my Father had SAID: "Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel." He had declared victory so, so long ago...

While at work last night, I received a text from my mom.

She offered to bring it to me or wait until I got off to open it. I went back and forth with her about fourteen billion times before deciding to wait. I didn't want the news to affect me at work. Hysterically enough, though, a split second after I decided that...my phone rang. It was an unknown number, but I answered. {I NEVER DO THAT!} The sweet girl on the other end of the line said, "Hi Kenzie! I'm your admissions counselor here at Bethel and I was just calling to say you've been accepted! CONGRATULATIONS!" Her excitement was literally contagious and all I could do was sit down on the floor and cry. She was incredibly gracious with my hysterics and told me my acceptance package would be coming soon.

I shared the news with one of my coworkers who has known me since I started there. Hannah was even more excited for me than I was for myself...incredible, huh? I texted a few of my closest friends... It was no surprise that Amy, Jaycee, Amelia, Nicole, and Chrissy were equally - if not, more - as excited for me than I was for myself. There are no words to describe that feeling.

The package was there waiting for me when I got home and I tore into it with pure joy. It's no surprise that He completely blew me out of the water AGAIN when there was a $5,000 YEARLY scholarship inside as well!

I will not ever underestimate God's power to orchestrate His plan(s) for my life. I have ALMOST given up on so, so many things because of my circumstances, but He has always provided me with and granted me what is GOOD when I put in the faith and hard work! 

Just like Matthew 6:26 says... "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

It's almost as if He's saying... "Have faith, child. I'll take care of YOU."

You guys... I'M GOING TO BETHEL!


"Man, she really, really loves Jesus."

This weekend, I foolishly wasted ridiculous amounts of gas driving around. 



Last week was overwhelming. I had the best Monday ever, but woke up in the middle of the night to my sister by my bedside and the discovery of me having a possible seizure. I did a lot of research on a new med I was prescribed for pain, and sure enough... Seizures had been reported. I was never warned about this, so it left me feeling frustrated and terrified. We aren't sure what exactly happened, but I'm working through it.

I was a mess at school Tuesday. Exhausted. But I went anyway. I tried, I cried, and I received graciousness. Everyone I encountered that day greeted me with a hug. Even though they didn't know the situation, they cared.

I tried to smile for the rest of the week. I tried to schedule my new job orientation. I tried to look forward to my weekend off. I tried.

Plans changed, though. And my mom and I found ourselves back on the road to Children's Hospital nearly two hours away. We got a few kinks worked out and I met with my psychologist. It was another overwhelming appointment, but it was insightful and definitely beneficial.

I tried to have fun with my friends Friday and Saturday night, but I just didn't feel like myself. Instead of really partaking in things, I drove around aimlessly and turned up the radio way too loud. I tried to just be.

I thought a lot about what people probably thought of me after I had been so emotional and upset the whole week. I wondered if they'd deemed me "crabby" or "whiny." I wondered how I could talk to the best friends who wanted to help me, but didn't know how. I wondered what how close my parents were to giviing up on trying to understand me.

I wondered a lot.

After all that wondering, I cried out to Jesus and asked Him how I could move on from this past week. I told Him that more than anything, I wanted people to see HIM in my moments of weakness.

He'd been reminding me of a verse all week long, but it really resonated with me during that drive. 

"...but the Lord stood by me and strengthened me." - 2 Timothy 4:17

I'm going to get back to feeling joy this week. Slowly, but pace doesn't matter as long as I get there.

Three times I begged The Lord to take it away from me. Each time He said, 'My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.' -2 Corinthians 12:8-9


Plaid, Stripes, Thankfulness, & Praise

WHAT I'M WEARING :: VEST // Kohl's ::  SHIRT // Old Navy :: JEANS :: Kohl's // FLATS :: Buckle

The cold weather front has arrived here in Minnesota! It snowed Sunday and apparently there's more on the way. My knees are swollen a ridiculous amount, my wrists can't handle the writing school requires, and I feel about 80 years old.

Vests, jackets, mittens, and cute headbands are so in right now. I'm wearing plaid + stripes like it's my job. I hope pattern mixing is still in... ;)

Despite my pain, my teachers, friends, and family have been accommodating. I've been missing some school and my teachers have been incredibly understanding. My medical terminology AP class is tough to keep up with if you're not there to cover the material everyday. It's made up of a lot of quizzes + tests, so being present is essential. I am beyond thankful for how gracious this teacher has been to me. Letting me come in to take tests afterschool and visit for extra help really proves that she is passionate about her students' success.

Pain sucks, but Lord, thank you for teaching me about thankfulness and grace. One day at a time. :)

Psalms 109:30~ But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone.


Distance Never Prevails

I always have to chuckle at the best friends God has graciously blessed with me.

My sweet friend Chelsea lives in a city near Wisconsin. A 3 hour drive stops us from seeing each other on the daily.

My gorgeous cousin Tori lives in Oklahoma. There's just over a 900 mile road trip separating us from heart to hearts and shopping.

My wise friend Elissa lives in Russia. The Atlantic Ocean, 5,000 miles, and crazy timezones keep us from bible studies and stomach-pain-inducing laughter.

Don't get me wrong, the best friends I have here at home mean the world to me. They're blessings all their own and I'm grateful for them every.single.day. There's just a special connection and bond that distance creates.

In enters this girl...

Marie is a German exchange student at our school this year. She's staying with a guy my age and his family for the year. All I can say is that I've adored her since the day we met. Her sweet personality and humor makes me smile every day. Even more than that... We've dubbed ourselves soul sisters. She's a hugger like I am and I'm almost positive that we could carry on conversation + giggle for days straight.

She's just one of my people.

What's mind blowing to me is that out of all the places this beauty could have ended up... She's right here in this tiny, Minnesota town of 800. There is no doubt in my mind that God brought her here to teach me a lesson or ten about life.

4,500 miles and that darn Atlantic Ocean will separate us when she returns home, but my time with her now will be worth missing her then. I have no doubt we'll be flying overseas for each other's weddings one day because of our soul sister bond.

Friendships like this one are truly one of God's greatest gifts. Distance means so little when someone means so much. Distance never prevails. I'm sure of it.


A Time To Let Go

After returning home from Bloggy Boot Camp, I had a lot of unpacking to do. It put me into one of my organizational states. I started going through a box of my shoes in the foyer closet and sifting through them. Their "place" in my life ranged from work shoes, to dress shoes, to shoes I forgot I had. There was one worn, faded brown pair of moccasins in that box that I decided it was time to toss.

I held them in my hands and stared at them for awhile remembering all the things I did in them, or rather, what they did on my feet.

When I first started my job... I learned in those shoes.

When I went through 10 weeks of physical therapy... I healed in those shoes.

When I went to visit my Grandpa for the last time in the hospital... I cried in those shoes.

When I went out to dinner with friends... I celebrated in those shoes.

I'm not sure how it's possible for me to remember all the things I did in those shoes, but if I had to take a guess, I'd say it was because I needed to learn this lesson. God used a pair of ragged moccasins to teach me a lesson. Similarly, He used the initially faithless Abraham to teach me about faith and Gomer the prostitute to teach me about mercy and unconditional love. It's amazing to me how He uses the things that seem not to matter in the biggest way.

As much as I hate to put value into a material item, the undeniable fact that those shoes left a lasting impact on me is no exaggeration. They were my favorite and they had been with me. Ragged or not, there was an attachment to them.

That thought led me to thinking about other things in my life that are the same way. Negative friendships that I can't walk away from. Bad habits that have become my nature. Feelings of resentment because I can't move on from the past. That ragged pair of shoes and these thoughts all have one particular thing in common...

It's time to let them go.

Despite memories, despite how hard it is, despite not wanting to feel loss... There comes a point when it is unhealthy to hold onto things that don't serve as a use to us. There comes a point when letting go is essential to our well-being.

Throwing these old moccasins away versus keeping them in the bottom of a box in the closet wasn't exactly a decision that would affect my well-being, but my goodness, it put other things and situations in my life into perspective.

It may not ever be easy, but it is essential to let go of the things that no longer grow us. It makes room for the new. The better. The priorities.


Surrendering To Intentionality

After attending Bloggy Boot Camp {my first blog conference} this past weekend, my heart is full and my mind is overwhelmed. With knowledge. With passion. With gratefulness.

I learned a lot about pageviews, social media, and vlogging. I learned how to grow my blog. I learned exactly what I wanted to going into the weekend... And yet, it didn't seem like enough to me. I didn't feel full.

I don't want you as readers to get the wrong idea of Bloggy Boot Camp. I don't want anyone thinking I'm not grateful for every session I had the opportunity to attend. I don't want anyone thinking I didn't learn in the other FABULOUS sessions. I just want to share what struck my heart chords the hardest.

When we broke apart the large group for a session, the choices were to attend a writer's workshop or a session on making money through blogging. Sensing that feeling of discontentment, I knew I needed to choose the writer's workshop.

Only a handful of women chose that session led by Heather and Vikki along with me, but it was just what my heart needed in every way, shape, and form. I teared up at points in the session because I finally identified with and surrendered to the struggles I saw within my writing. I realized that my inner critic is one nasty individual. I learned just how big my passion for this whole writing thing really is.

I realized that my writing around here isn't always 100% me and honest. When I started blogging, I cried writing my posts. It was therapeutic for me. I realized that lately, I've been getting frustrated emotional instead of therapeutic emotional with my writing. That didn't sit well with me. It's not what I want.

There is going to be an outrageous amount of change around here. My sponsorships are going to become more social media based. My posting is going to become more intentional. My photography is going to become more of a hobby. My heart is going to be a lot happier.

I hope you'll join me.


It's Going To Be A Glorious Weekend

FRIDAY. It's only about a MILLION happy things today! Not only is it the last weekday, but it's the day I get to tour my dream college campus (ahem... Bethel University), squeeze my friend Chelsea in real life again, and prepare myself for the awesomeness that is Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend! I literally cannot wipe the smile off my face!

After being completely overwhelmed this week, it's necessary for me to enjoy today and the weekend entirely. Not bits and pieces... Not odds and ends... Entirely. Girl time the next two days sounds like a pretty good start to me!

I literally have so much preparing to do today, but something tells me it's going to be a glorious weekend! Can't wait to share all that I learn at Bloggy Boot Camp and use that knowledge to make this little ole' blog more purposeful than ever before! I'm bound to be the youngest woman there, so I'm also excited to share my perspective and influence!

Cheers to the freakin' weekend! I'll drink a kiddy cocktail to that. ;)

Linking up with Alissa!


The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength

The day that I've been anxiously awaiting for over 6 months is finally here. I was referred to a chronic pain program at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis for multiple reasons ranging from medications that don't work properly to the development of degeneration in my neck. When my parents and I filled out all the paperwork, I had not the slightest clue I'd walk through a journey with injections this past summer/fall. I had not the slightest clue that I'd actually get back to running for a little while. I had not the slightest clue that I'd come down with bronchitis the week I was supposed to start Enbrel. I was clueless when I submitted that paperwork.

I've been dealing with chronic pain for over 4 years now. One of the biggest things I began to struggle with spiritually is only being able to see the here and now. I'm able to be optimistic and speak life to others, but the fears within myself are fed with lies, worry, and doubt from the devil. Allowing that to happen leaves me halfway up a staircase not knowing what to do or where to go. Today, I'm sick of watching that happen and I'm ready to surrender it completely.

Sunday afternoon at work, I excused myself to the bathroom and just sat for a few minutes trying to catch my breath. I was having severe anxiety about my week. Monday: Injections, Wednesday: Make up exams, Thursday: Children's Appointment, Friday: College visit and Bloggy Boot Camp. I was feeling exhausted. Defeated. I started praying and clearer than day He said, "I'm a MIRACLE working God, so don't try to get ahead of Me and rob Me of the opportunity to demonstrate My power in your life." I actually laughed in that moment because it made me realize how ridiculous I am to compare my plans to His. I must always, always {be difficult and} choose the latter when I know what's good for me. Funny how that works, right?

He reassured me again just last night as I was reading Psalms for some closure. I stumbled across Psalm 139 and verse 16 popped out at me. I knew it was a clear sign from God that things are going to get much better in the coming days. That particular verse reads:

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Truthfully, I don't know what today holds. I don't know how I'll be feeling this weekend or into next week. I don't know anything when it comes to His deliberate and oh-so-perfect will... And today? Today I'm done trying to figure it out. All I know for sure is that His grace, not my worry, fear, or doubt - is the thing that will see me through. The joy of the Lord is my strength.


Comfy Fall Attire + Optimism For Tomorrow

WHAT I'M WEARING :: Shirt // Maurice's :: Scarf // Target  Yoga Pants :: Victoria's Secret // Boots :: Nectar Clothing

The two days following a set of steroid injections are t.o.u.g.h. I struggle with finding something to wear because it hurts for the tiniest pressure to be on my neck. I struggle with not wanting to show off all my awesome battle wounds. I struggle with trying to cover up any and ALL swelling. Basically, it's a battle I can't win.

I stuck it out yesterday and showed off my bruises in all of their glory. I tried to wear a scarf but there was absolutely NO way I could get comfortable. Later in the day, I got sick of everyone commenting on the those tiny little bruises and threw on a scarf. Ya win some, ya lose some I guess - and I ended up LOVING this outfit!

My doctor said that I don't have to come back for a recheck for 3 whole weeks which is a mighty victory in itself. We're hoping that I'm officially DONE with these injections and can move onto a self-injection called Enbrel. I think this is going to be a much better fit for me overall and I'm thankful that I made it through another part in this journey! Autoimmune arthritis is one ugly monster that's losing the battle against moi!

The colors in this outfit still scream summer to me, but the boots are all fall! It amps up the yoga pants look and is incredibly comfy which was just what I needed. I have big plans to wear yoga pants again today... Hopefully I'll wake up feeling a lot better tomorrow since I'll be headed to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis to see a whole new panel of specialists. Some weeks... What gives, right? ;)

Linking up with The Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirBecause Shanna Said SoGet Your Pretty On, & Tucker Up!