You’re Already Amazing

Embracing Emotions

Something that I’ve learned about myself over the past year is that I am an emotional person. I feel and experience things very deeply. While I sometimes wish I didn’t cry while watching commercials, I am thankful that I experience the full range of human emotion.

I’m currently reading the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth and gaining a lot of insight into how God has made everyone exactly as they are for a reason.

Life Growth Guide

While it’s easy for me to feel like I’m weak because I’m sensitive, I am learning to view this trait as an asset to serving God. Being sensitive often means that I pick up on small details. When I talk with a friend, I try to pay attention to their body language and listen to hear how they’re really doing. I cherish deep one-on-one conversations, and I feel amazing when I can lend a listening ear to someone who just needs to talk.

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Understanding that no emotion is “wrong” or “bad” has made a huge difference in my life. I can vividly remember crying in my elementary school library as a child because I forgot to return a library book. It felt like a big deal to me at the time because I had never once forgotten to return a library book. While I know the librarian had the intention to soothe me by saying “Don’t cry! It’s okay!” I also know that she sent a message to my younger self that crying and feeling upset = not okay.

What the LifeGrowth Guide is teaching me is that all emotions are a gift from God that help us process everything we go through in life. When I’m feeling stressed out, I can stop and think what is this emotion telling me? Do I need rest? Connection? Something else? Negative emotions also prompt me to question whether or not I am believing a lie from Satan.

When I start to believe I’m not good enough or I can’t do something, I am learning to stop and ask myself what scripture says about these thoughts. I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14) and God loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Knowing that I have the Bible as a tool to confront the lies that are all too easy to believe is incredibly life-giving and works to strengthen my faith as I learn more about who God is and how he cares for me.

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Doubt and lies absolutely thrive in isolation and darkness. When we keep things to ourselves, we feel alone. I know that when I bring my cares and concerns into the light of loving relationships–whether it’s in person, through a quick text message, or an email–that connection with someone who loves me and can speak the truth against the lies makes all the difference. Opening up about things that are more than surface-level prompts others to do the same and deepens relationships. This is the embodiment of Ephesians 4:15:

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

We may know what is true, but don’t always feel it. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with us. It simply means that we’re human and are working on being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). God understands this because He’s the one who made us and doesn’t demand us to feel a certain way, but rather asks that we keep believing, growing, and obeying.

Here’s to growing in Christ every day and learning to trust and enjoy the process!

My Top 10 Books of 2012

One of my goals for 2012 was to read 50 books. Right now, I’m on book number 47! You can see all of the books I’ve read this year and last year here. You can also see my post on my favorite books of 2011 here.

The following books are my top 10 favorite books I’ve read in 2012:

10. Save Me – Lisa Scottoline (This was a page-turner for me!)saveme

9. Interpersonal Conflict – William Wilmont & Joyce Hocker (This was actually one of my textbooks last semester. I loved it that much!)interpersonalconflict

8. The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie – Kim & Krickitt Carpenter (The movie based on this book came out around Valentine’s Day. It’s actually a true story and the couple in the book are Christians. It’s truly a crazy and amazing story!!)thevow

7. The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir – Gaby Rodriguez (This is another true and crazy story!  This book was also made into a movie.)thepregnancy

6. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry: A Memoir – Amanda Beard (This was written by the famous Olympic swimmer, Amanda Beard. I had no idea she struggled so much in her life. It’s a very inspiring book.)inthewater

5. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts – Gary Chapman (This book will change the way you view and treat your significant other and loved ones.)fivelovelanguages

4. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Jen Hatmaker (This is a great book about being a Christian consumer. It really made me re-examine my spending habits.) 7

3. You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be – Holley Gerth (The title may sound cheesy, but this book really boosted my self confidence. It’s a great read for any woman or girl.)alreadyamazing

2. Made to Crave for Young Women: Satisfying Your Deepest Desires with God – Lysa TerKeurst (This was one of my favorite books this year. I did a post on it a few months ago.)madetocrave1. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption – Katie Davis (This was my favorite book of 2012! If I could only give one book recommendation to you, it’d be this one. The author is only in her early 20’s and she’s seriously done some amazing things for the Lord!). kissesfromkatie*

Have you read any good books this year?! Please share!