Fear Not

For the past few years, I have really struggled with anxiety. It has truly crippled me in more ways than one and has prevented me from living life to the fullest. I have known people who have suffered severely from anxiety. However, until you have personally experienced full-blown anxiety for yourself, there is no way to truly understand it at all. 

My anxiety journey started my last semester of college. Up to this point, I had literally been in school in some form since the age of two. School wasn’t just something I did because I had to, school was who I had become – it was a part of my identity. School for me, was my social network, my gym, my encouragement, my biggest challenge, and one of my most reliable constants. I may not have always wanted to go or enjoyed it, but boy did I realize how much I needed it when it was finally gone. 

About three months after I graduated, I started my first official job. I was so thankful to finally be receiving an income and put the skills that I had learned to good use. Yet, I was so anxious and overthinking everything that my anxiety was physically crippling me. I was in and out of the doctors office for the next several months trying to figure out what was wrong with me. It was as if my body was betraying me. Every pain, every small issue that appeared to be out of the norm became so worrisome. I panicked over the smallest of things, feeling as if my world was coming to an end. 

After about a year of this, I finally admitted to myself that I had anxiety and I needed to figure out ways to understand this new normal in order to eventually overcome it. Will I ever get rid of my anxiety? Probably not. Will I ever be able to learn tools and exercises that will help me work through it? You bet! In fact, I am constantly working through it and trying to navigate the best ways to calm myself through whatever situation I may face. 

One of the tactics I have worked hard at utilizing more is my faith in God. My anxiety has a whole lot to do with my fear of the unknown. You see, with school, I knew what was next. I knew what classes I would be taking, what teachers I would have, the supplies I would need, etc. With life after college, I had SO many things I wasn’t sure about. I didn’t know where I would be working, how much money I would be making, if I could afford my student loan payments, if I could get my own place, and the list goes on. 

My fear of the unknown was consuming me. It still does consume me in some forms to this day. However, now more than ever, I am holding onto the truth that fear (anxiety) is NOT of God. He is light and love and everything but fear. He made us and every single detail that makes up our lives. He is the past, present, and future. God knows ALL things, meaning that we can be confident in knowing that He has our backs. “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV 

God has equipped us with the tools to overcome fear. When we are experiencing fear, we must remind ourselves that we must run as close as we can to God like a child would run to his parent. In the book “Do It Afraid” by Joyce Meyer, it says that “fear is rooted in the lies the devil tells us.” This is SO true. Fear is of the devil, which means it does not belong anywhere near me. Of course, because of the world we live in, fear will always be a factor, but it will be a constant challenge for me to remember to run to God in the face of fear and anxiety. 

My challenge for you is to acknowledge the things in your life that bring you fear and anxiety. Really think about where that fear and anxiety is rooted in and how you can use this knowledge to learn how to overcome it. Run to Jesus as He IS our redeemer. He will always be the constant that you need in your life if you only allow Him. I too, will work on this as I work on overcoming my fear and relying on the Lord. This world may be messy and full of unknowns, but we can always be reassured that the Lord is alive and well and far greater than any fear that we could ever face. Let us all be uplifted by this amazing truth! 🙂

This weeks reminder: 

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5: 6-7 NIV

You are a Light

Would you consider yourself more of a naturally positive person or negative person? Is it generally pretty easy for you to find the good or does it take extra effort for you to sift through the negative first? I have found that the majority of my life, I have been a naturally positive person. It seems that in many cases, being naturally positive is most common. However, this doesn’t mean that those who are naturally negative are doing it wrong. 

Lately, I have felt more and more drawn to thinking more negatively than I usually do. This world, particularly most recently, has been pretty bleak in several different ways. It truly has been hard for me personally to see the good. I have really had to challenge myself to find and believe in the good that is still very apparent in the world. 

With that said, lately I have wanted to be more of a light within my community. I by no means have all of the answers, but I have felt the Lord encouraging me and placing on my heart that I need to use my voice and be a light. The past couple of years, I have wondered how exactly I would accomplish that. I have many friends and I am involved in my Church, but I felt like God was leading me to reach more people. 

In my mind, this only left social media as my platform. I can’t tell you how much I have resisted it because it means that I have to put myself out there. I have to open myself up to judgment and insecurity, which does not entice me by any stretch of the word. Yet, I keep feeling this tug. I want to be a light. 

I think many people think that they need to have a big platform of some kind, whether that be on social media or having an important position either at Church or at work, etc. I am here to tell you that this is not the case. In fact, using whatever platform and resources you have readily available, is more than enough. It doesn’t matter who you are in the worlds eyes, it only matters that in God’s eyes, you are His child. He sees you as His Light in this world. Jesus was here for a time, but now we, together as His children, get to take on the honor of being a light. 

Mathew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” (ESV) Let us relish in the fact that we are fully capable of honoring the Lord by letting His light shine. We honor Him when we do so. Even the simplest ways such as smiling at someone, showing a new coworker some grace, paying for the dinner of an elderly couple, or mowing the lawn for the person who works 3 jobs. Whatever you can do to be the light in someone’s gray and hectic world, I encourage you to do so. 

Not only does it please the Lord and those you are helping, but it will please you as well. Seeing the light spread is infectious and exciting. You cannot help but see how wondrous are the ways of our Almighty God. He will reward you because of your genuine willingness to seek out ways of revealing His love and light to the world. He will show you the kindness you showed to His other children, whom are your brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Now as I embark on expanding my platform in effort of being a better light, I challenge you to find ways that you can use your platform, whatever it may be, to take what has been on your heart and make it happen. Let the Lord’s words move you and please embrace it. I personally know what it is like to fight what you feel you should be doing rather than listen to what God is telling you. Let the control go and see how amazing God’s hand will be in your life. Go! Go boldly into the world because you are a light! 🙂

The Year 2021.

It is here, the year 2021. A year that many have been anxiously waiting for. 2020 had enough in it to fill up an entire history book… I cant help but think, “wow, one day I will tell my (yet to be born) children about this year and they will have no idea what transpired. At least, not in the way I and many others did.” This must be the type of feeling our grandparents and parents feel when we youngins learn about past major events that took place.

Any who, how are you feeling about this new year? I truly hope you are hopeful that this new year will be an upgrade from the last. We all know that the many unfortunate events from 2020 will not just automatically disappear. However, we do know that we are fully capable of surviving many difficult circumstances and hardships. I do not wish to make light of all the lives that were lost or all of the oppression and evil that took place. I simply wish to encourage and bring light to us all after experiencing such a dark year.

I have always been a positive person by nature. Although, I will say that last year put me to the test. With this new year, I can’t help but shake this feeling that I will personally have some big wins and that is what I choose to hold on to. I have heard so many people say that we must speak our happiness and success into existence, throw a ton of prayer and reliance on God in there, and I think that they are onto something.

The last few years, I have felt as if I was floating; really trying to figure out how to find my place in the world. I believe this will still be part of my journey. However, I’m feeling a change from within that is exciting. In less than two days, I will be 25. TWENTY-FIVE people! I don’t know why this number has thrown me though a loop, but it has me thinking and planning and sweating a bit if I am honest. LOL.

For many, this age is not that big of a deal. I have friends who turned 25 this year and seem to be just fine with it. I, on the other hand, am like “Hello! 25 is a quarter of a century!!” I realize I have so much life to live still. I have career goals that I am currently working on, I have the strong desire to meet my person – the man I have literally been consistently praying over for 11 years now, as well as, the desire to travel to aalllllll the places, amongst many other goals.

My thought process is this: make things happen before I am thirty. So folks, I have 5 years to make things happen. Don’t be alarmed, I’m not setting myself up for failure by saying I have to conquer all the things before I’m 30. I realize that within the next 5 years, unforeseen circumstances will affect my course of life. I will evolve as a person, major life events will occur, unexpected failures will happen, etc. That is life my friends. I’m a glass half full type of person though. 🙂

Another major factor that entirely influences my life is my relationship with God. He alone, is the one and only influence that will make or break my life quite honestly. I have been a Christian since the age of 3 ( yes, I do remember asking Christ into my heart). My life has been surrounded by God’s love, grace, and guidance. I am by no means perfect and I have made many mistakes and transgressions. Yet, my God loves me and wants the very best for me because he has a purpose for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).

I’ll admit, I have struggled and have hit some of the lowest of lows that I do not wish for anyone – lows, I do not wish to ever hit again in all realness. But because of the very promise my God has made me in regards to what will happen in my life, I choose to have faith and continue on. I choose to look at this year as a new beginning because that is exactly what it is. For me, I am going to quit hiding and being so consumed by fear of what others think of me.

Now, by admitting this, do not misunderstand. I do not plan to go completely off the rails! LOL. I simply wish do less overthinking and more doing. I am the only me in this entire world. I want to fulfill that. I challenge you to do the same. This world has so many distractions and harmful influences. I have definitely fallen into its trap. So what I encourage you to do is not avoid the traps because, quite honestly that just isn’t to realistic. However, climbing out of that trap, kicking, screaming, crying, fighting, etc., is what I encourage you to do. Do this for yourself and the ones who love you oh so much.

You were placed on this earth for purpose, whether you know what it is yet or not. Merely believing you were and that you will spend your life committed to your purpose is what I ask of you. Take this new year as a step in a new direction or in the same direction if you feel as if you are on the right course. Just don’t give up and go off course. It is okay to take a break or time-out, but reassess and get back out there to kick some butt.

There have been many New Years and there will continue to be more. 2021 is different though. It is different because it follows a year that many suffered through and greatly wish to say goodbye to. We have a long way to go from here, but be encouraged, you are not alone, and you are going to thrive. As always, I’ll be praying for you! 🙂

A Christmas to Remember

Merry Christmas everyone! Praying you all had a special day. I know for many of us, this Christmas looked different, but I hope you were able to make the best of your circumstances. I for one, was able to enjoy a rather pleasant day with my parents and grandparents. We woke up and read the story of Christ’s birth right off the bat. We actually had a refreshing discussion about His birth and boy are we truly grateful that He came to this earth to be our Savior!

We then proceeded to open our stockings. In my family, we have always opened the stockings first and then moved onto the gifts. I am sure this is pretty typical for most people. However, my question is, who gets to open presents first in your house? We usually have always gone by age in my family – youngest to oldest. We enjoy taking turns opening gifts, it takes a lot of patience at times, but it is definitely is worth it. 🙂

After the stockings were opened, we then moved on to all of the presents. This year, my dad somehow made out like a bandit with his goodies! Haha! My mom apparently forgot how many presents she bought him. Although, this seems to be a recurring theme each year… Either way, we all enjoyed our gifts. I for one, was really excited because among all of my gifts, my two absolute favorites were the Apple AirPods Pro (I seriously love them so far) as well as, a long weekend at the Sunriver Lodge for later next month and I cannot wait!

Side-note: If you’ve never been to Sunriver, or Oregon for that matter, give Sunriver a visit. It is seriously such a fun little place with so many activities year round and incredibly gorgeous landscapes as it is nestled in Oregons desert. (Did you realize Oregon had a desert? Cool, huh?)

Anyway, after presents, we all enjoyed some really yummy cinnamon rolls that I made from scratch. They got high praises and were really fun to make actually. I made the dough the night before so that it would rise and then in the morning I made the filling, rolled the cinnamon rolls and placed them in the oven as we were opening up the last of the presents. I finished them off with a cream cheese frosting and it was oozy, yummy goodness! You should seriously give them a try. I found the recipe on Pinterest so I will link them below.

Once we finished the cinnamon rolls, you better believe we started playing games! My grandparents actually brought a new game for all of us to play called Wizard. If you have never played this game and you enjoy card games, please do yourself a favor and buy it! It is seriously so fun, we literally played it all day. Of course, playing games all day makes you a bit hungry, so I decided to whip up a Charcuterie board (the adult lunchable).

It definitely wasn’t anything to fancy, but it sure was good!

After playing a few more rounds of Wizard, it was time for dinner. My dad made a delicious prime rib that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. My mom made twice-baked potatoes, green bean casserole (my favorite) along with some brussel sprouts and dinner rolls. It was a very nice meal, for which I am very thankful. We of course, finished off the the night with pecan pie, New York cheesecake, games, and a movie.

I am truly so grateful for the family that I have and even though we were unable to have all of the family around this year, we were able to celebrate the birth of our Savior with scrumptious food and plenty of laughter. I can’t say I will miss much of 2020 because Lord knows how many losses there were, but I will say that the year is definitely ending with some sweet memories. I am excited to ring in the new year, although my 25th birthday is right around the corner too… Man, that just seems so weird to me!

Here’s hoping 2021 brings us all many blessings, contagious laughter, and amazing adventures big or small! 🙂

I Need an Attitude Adjustment

WHOA! Those are some big words to admit… yet they are so true. This revelation has been something I have known for a while now, but have not faced head on. I haven’t wanted to admit it to myself. I just kept telling myself that it was other people; it was my family and friends that needed to make the changes. Well, I’m sure we could all make changes, but I can’t change other people. However, I can change myself.

I don’t mean that I need to become someone completely different. What I mean is that there are some characteristics about myself that could use some fine tuning. I’ve realized that I have become negative, a bit selfish, and rather overly sensitive. To be honest, all of these things drive me crazy because I know that I do them and that they need to be addressed, but here I am living a life of someone that is not me.

I’ve come to the realization that I am just in a rut. I’m sure that many of you can relate in some ways (whether it relates to 2020 or not). I think for me, it all started when I graduated from college. I am the girl who likes to plan. I like to have goals and steps set so that I can work towards them and, in turn, accomplish them. With school, I had that. I had my counselors to advise and guide me, I had my teachers/professors to set out deadlines or due dates, and I had fellow college students around me to motivate me.

Now that I am out of college (2 years as of the 15th), I definitely have a routine down for the most part, but it still isn’t the same. Other than typical responsibilities like having to make money to pay bills, following the direction of my boss, filling in where my church needs me, and other everyday type responsibilities, it really is just me that is what keeps me on top of everything. It is my responsibility to follow through on all of my obligations.

Man, it can just truly be tough if I am honest. I keep thinking to myself, I am 24 years old, technically still very young and I am just out of steam. Why? I have SO many passions and aspirations for this life, but the child in me wants them all to happen right now. The adult in me recognizes that hard work must go into making my dreams a reality, but shoot, there are days when I just want to sit on my butt and watch T.V. Is that to much to ask?

Overall, I know that I will make it and I also know that this season in my life will pass in time. I am still very much full of life. I am eager, excited, driven, full of grit and just a enough sass. This period in my life is a time for me to reflect on where I have been and really focus on my future. For me, it is not a matter of what I will be doing in the future, but how I will make my future happen. I mean, Lord help me, I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12 years old.

What I have come to realize is that, when I was 12 it was all just a dream because I was still pretty young. However, I am a full fledged adult now. It is time to make these dreams come to life. It is time to give myself an attitude adjustment and get with the picture. I started this blog to help obtain that goal. This is my space to vent (sorry), give advice, talk endlessly about my passions, inspire with positivity and the love of God, and definitely learn and make new friends.

If you are in need of an attitude adjustment in some way, I hope we can come to lean on one another and learn, become motivated and obtain a new spring in our step. As a believer, I know God’s will for me is to be joyous and without worry. As humans, we are not perfect, but our God is and I know full well with Him guiding the way, nothing can keep us down for to long.

~ Weekly encouragement ~

My favorite verse:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

A Little about Me…

Hello!

My name is Kaylee, this may come as a surprise to you as you probably assumed that my name is Gracie. As much as my mama loves this name, nearly 25 years ago she chose the name Kaylee. I’m grateful she did because I LOVE my name. I also love where I live. I live in the great state of Oregon. Some people may refer to it as the PNW, but either way, it is home. 

Home is a big part of who I am. I am a girl who was raised in Oregon, yet born in northern California. I consider them both my home, mainly because these are the places that my family reside. My family is my EVERYTHING! We are a happy bunch. We are a family full of wise grandparents, crazy cousins, loving parents and bonus parents too! Friends have become family through the years as well and I am so glad. 

The person I am today is mainly due to the people I was raised and surrounded by my whole life. I am a very passionate person with many dreams and ambitions; hence why I have created this blog. I wanted and desired a creative outlet. Writing has always been a passion of mine. Did you know that I have journaled my entire life? I have countless journals. Prayer journals, dream journals, list journals, etc. These journals have documented some of the most important and groundbreaking experiences, moments, and realizations of my life. 

However, as the years have gone by and the more I have grown as a person, I have come to realize how much I love to share. I love to share by giving advice, by revealing my vulnerabilities, sharing design advice, as well as cooking ideas, fun outdoor adventures, and even the simplest of things such as games for game night with the fam! 

Overall, I feel as if my brain sorts through so many things in a day that I need to finally create a space where I can share all of my ideas, dreams, ambitions, advice, prayers, and much more. I hope as I embark on this new adventure that we will get to know one another better. I truly am grateful for you being here and following along! 🙂