Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012: A Year to Love

It's that time of year again...time for reflections and for life-style changes...right?! Well, instead of going on and on about my new goals and ambitions, (which I do have a video series on)  I will simply write a list of reflections from this year for this post, and the next post will have the 2013 hopes and dreams (that way this post isn't too incredibly long)

Warning: this will be very random and here we go:


Lost and maintained a 30-pound weight loss
President's List/Dean's List at school (3.5 GPA or higher)
Got my first brand new smartphone
Read Anna Karenina and added it to my favorites list
Went to see a movie by myself for the first time--I went and saw Prometheus
Had my first accidental 'viral' YouTube video
My first completely editorial photo shoot working as a visual consultant AND makeup artist
Became YouTube partner
Defied my fear of rejection and took a huge personal risk with someone
Planned, purchased, and executed my second annual Christmas Beauty Giveaway--this year, prizes totaled over $500
Received my first sponsorship/free makeup for review offer from a brand that I love
Re-engaged my passion for politics and feminism
Participated in my first real protest: SlutWalk, Seattle
Cried for joy that many of my friends are now able to legally marry their long-time partners when Washington State approved gay marriage
Yelled out an obscenity to a driver who splashed me with water while carelessly driving off the side of the road, talking on his cell phone
Made a new friend who inspires me to live life without vicariousness.
Met a friend who may become my new BFF.
Uprooted myself from an otherwise comfortable life to move into the "big" city of Seattle
Lived off of faith, hope, and dreams when all seemed to be collapsing around me
Started working full-time outside of SB
Visited family in Bellingham, a place I rarely visit anymore
Turned 23-years-old and had an amazing birthday celebration with my family
Realized how much I truly love cupcakes
Stopped eating beef
Realized that my soy allergy isn't as extreme as once thought
Went weeks as a vegetarian without realizing it
New favorite food: peanut butter and bananas
Favorite music: Ellie Goulding, Lana del Rey, Melody Gardot
Saw American Idiot on Broadway with one of my besties
For the first time in years, did not attempt to harm myself physically
Maintained a diary for the 8th consecutive year
Had my heart not get broken by a jerk
Had the worst date of my life with the creepy " 'your' really beautiful" guy
Went on my first and most-likely-to-be last blind date
Started jogging
Stopped renting a storage unit
Finally have a strong and exact vision for SB--business plan in the works
Earned my first college degree
Hosted a fun Thanksgiving dinner and cooked almost everything completely from scratch
Made my first raw/vegan dessert, which was met with approval from a vegan
Went to six Halloween events this year
Wrote some amazing songs
Uploaded my first singing video for the world to see
Let go of a painful memory
Had my first energy drink ever (EVER!)
Met someone who I foresee as being my next love

And that's all I can think of right now. Overall, I think this has been a fabulous year. Yes, there were a lot of uncertainties and scary moments when I didn't think that I could make it through, but my faith grew stronger with every step that God lead me through. As I always like to think, we become closer to being a pure diamond with all the extra pressure; purer gold when all the impurities are burned from us.

I hope that this is inspiring. I chose to focus on mostly the good as that's how I want to see my life--good, adventure-filled, and best-yet, not regrettable.

Stay tuned for the 2013 post!

Much love & peace to you,


Monday, August 13, 2012


It has been a while since I last wrote for this blog--time has rewarded me with things to preoccupy my time, and has also challenged me with new endeavors and obstacles. However, I felt the urge to write today as a spirit moved in me to do so, and hence, the words that flow freely from my heart follows.

As a Christian, I've heard innumerable times about the importance of forgiveness. We must forgive our neighbors of their offenses--the hurt and betrayals--for harboring unforgiveness in our hearts amounts to the same decree as murder. This murder is of our own spirit.

We have been forgiven of our own sins if we have accepted the cleansing blood of Jesus to wash us of the old sins that have caked inside our hearts. We become whole through the One who gives life. However, a spirit of the world that despises our new selves seeks to destroy our new foundations. It gains a small foothold to create havoc the second doubt or distrust enter our minds. The lies about our identity resolves to a battle lost as we believe them.

 We aren't worthy. 
We haven't been made new...we're still the same old, horrible people from before. 
Nothing changes. 
We are weak.

Lies. Deceitful and utterly harmful lies.

Buying into these lies is costly. It is the same as purposely ingesting poison into our systems. It's a spiritual suicide. The mistakes we made long ago resurface, brought into the present, and we encounter the same pain and shame just as if we were trapped to relive those past moments. The blessings of today are robbed from us and we begin to resent who we are--not realizing that we now have distorted visions of ourselves. Self-unforgiveness bubbles through and we have committed the sin of murder.

But we can be resurrected.
But how...?

Today, I thought about the events that lead me to feel as though the new person I am was only a distorted dream. I confess to having believed the lies, choosing not to forgive myself for the person I used to be...then I realized that the person I have to forgive doesn't exist anymore. She died to the world two years ago and now, there is a faithful spirit that resides in me. It gives me a new identity, but I had to remove the eyeglasses that the deceitful spirit placed on me, giving me an incorrect perception. I see who I am--a daughter of the King of all Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Life, the One who gives life.

I went outside to my porch and prayed. I talked to God about the life I want. I told Him that if there was any unforgiveness in my heart, to make it known to me. I listed off the names of people who have hurt or offended me, even if I knew I forgave them years ago; I made a point to say each name out loud, declaring my forgiveness. Then came the very last person: myself. I asked God to forgive me of my pride and any other sin I was unaware of...then I realized something.

Thoughts of skepticism and irritating hurt arose immediately. I didn't speak out that I forgive myself. That hurt to think about because I didn't want to say it.

I know that in order to forgive someone and to truly do so, you must consciously prepare yourself, keeping it at the forefront of your mind daily until the pain of the memory is no longer present. Each day, if thoughts escalate into ones that are not of God, then they must be rebuked and you must outwardly admit that you forgive that person. Speak out that forgiveness. It gets easier every day... even for ourselves: 

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." --Romans 12:2.

So, today, while looking into the mirror, I will tell myself that I forgive me for the mistakes I made, the person I was, and remind myself that she doesn't exist. I am a new creation:  

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 
 --2 Corinthians 5:17

I am strong. I am loved, and best of all, I have a purpose:  

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10.

If you find yourself feeling resentful towards yourself or another person, I encourage you to pray about it. If you want to change your life and become a new creation, or if you want to make sure that you aren't seeing a distorted vision of yourself, speak this out to God. If the words do not come, then say these words:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) "Help me to forgive others and myself of the sins that You forgive in me. Help me to see myself with the eyes You see me with. Remove all footholds in my life that the enemy clings to so that I may have peace in You. Holy Spirit, guide me through each day and help me to renew my thoughts and renew my forgiveness for every offense. I trust that I am created new with the blood of Jesus and pray for Your Spirit to move in the lives of those who have hurt me. In Jesus' name, Amen."

I hear chains breaking with each person who is forgiven. Amazing!

Rattling in chains no more,


Monday, March 12, 2012

At a Crossroads?! Now What?!

Being newly 23-years-old, two shy of 25, I feel as though some of my experiences have granted me an exceptional pathway to success, yet, on another note, I feel as though my path is so different than everyone else's...and I am very glad for that.

Perhaps this blog entry is more about personal reflection than one of my 'normal' posts, but I feel as though somehow one of you younger readers might be able to gain something out of this--or perhaps my more mature audience will relate and be inspired? Who knows?

So my 20s... All my life, I envisioned my 20s to be fierce, fabulous, ferocious, and amazing. (Sorry for the break of alliteration...ha ha!) At 16, I knew that once I reached my 20s, I would have reached the end of the turbulent years for me, and, therefore, will have begun to live in such a grand way. It hasn't quite worked out that way...actually, not at all.

At 21-years-old, by faith, I quit a job I hated and decided that it wasn't in my best interest to work for a while. I won't go into the medical reasons behind it, nor the little details of my life thereafter, but I can say that this decision changed my life more than any other direct decision ever has. I have learned things about myself that I didn't know before. I learned about what kind of strength this woman has! I tell you something, my faith is much stronger than it used to be as well! At 18-years-old, I would have laughed at a friend who said she was going to do what I did, wishing her luck, shaking my head thinking she were really stupid.

Yes...I would have been harsh on her. I can still be harsh on myself for it, hearing thoughts saying things like, "If you didn't quit that job, you wouldn't have had to go without _____" or "If you had stayed stronger, you wouldn't have struggled with ____" and so on and so forth! You know what?! Those thoughts are garbage. These types of thoughts only cause me more anxiety and irritation than they are worth, and they need to stay out in the trash bin with the rest of yesterday's old stuff.

The decisions I made in the past are ones that I feel were the right thing to do, even though it meant a lot of changes--unwanted and perhaps even unnecessary in the eyes of others. But, as a Christian, I see so much more value in the journey these last two years have brought me upon, and I am excited to see where the next two years will bring me. I am rebuilding my life as to shape it in the way that it ought to be, allowing God to have a mightier influence on it, and also to become what I so desire to become, and to obtain the success I am meant to have. Mind you, I don't measure success by quantifiable means, but by the ability to push through and conquer life's challenges without giving up.

Which brings me to my current challenge. I am at a crossroads--where I can continue the same life I've had for the past two years, or move on and do something different. I am ready to make a change in my life that will lead me to a better and different place. In the last blog, I talked about how "change" has so many negative connotations and people are often scared to make deep changes within themselves. (Click HERE to read). For the past couple weeks I have been chewing on my words, thinking about the changes I am ready to make now. Change is a great thing, but it only works if one is ready. I know I am ready for it. But it doesn't make me any less scared!

There's a big life change I am about to make, embarking on a new chapter in my life. While I am nervous and mildly anxious, I came across a scripture on the Huge Love blog by Tiffany Myers:

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,"

which helped alleviate some of that deep anxiety. I know that with change, the opportunity for bigger and better things await, and that sometimes God wants us to make a change so that we can do the things He has called for us to do. Today, I also came across a photo on a friend's Facebook page:

  This inspired me so much! 

The truth is that if I don't make this change, despite how scared I may be, I won't get to where I need to be! I need to make a poster of this and hang it on my door along with a few of my favorite inspiring Bible scriptures or tattoo it all on my arm! (hahaha-that would be one crazy arm tattoo!) 

With this in mind, I leave you all, dear readers, lovely friends, beloved family, with this thought:

What is the one thing in your life that you want to change and are you ready for it?

Deep love and peace to you,

Your Em.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Big, Bad "C" Word

What is this scary "C" word I refer to? 

It isn't the word you're thinking. (Shame on you for that!

CHANGE your thoughts right now!
CHANGE is not so scary.
Cyclic is a far worse word in my book...

I have always heard the phrase, "If you don't like something, do something about it," which is such a great motivational kick in the pants, making one realize that complaining isn't the best solution to a problem, instead, doing something is. While I take complaining with a grain of salt--as in, most people need to rant in some way or another--if these complaints take habit and are habitually about the same issues, then obviously these actions are not working.

Looking into the mirror, we see the things we want to see. We have already trained ourselves to notice first our qualities--or at least, that's what your average esteemed person will do. Sometimes we have character flaws that we don't notice, or we do notice, but ignore because we don't know what to do about it.

Some character flaws, such as being emotionally insecure, can be easy to ignore in oneself with precepts and by ignoring ones own conscious behaviors, but other people may notice them or may even suffer because of the ignorance. But what kind of person would intentionally inhibit personal growth? Yes, I said is intentional. A person who is not willing to look at him or herself honestly, realizing character flaws, and realizing the impact he or she has on other people, is not only hurting him or herself, but also the people around him or her. "Hurting people, hurt people," is another common phrase I hear, and often even say!

To err is human, which is an amazing thing. We are allowed to make mistakes and grow from them, but if we intentionally shut out the opportunities to grow, then we are only smothering the potential to become better people. To change.

To use myself as an example, I will admit that I am so far from's shocking, right? (insert sarcastic humor). Not really. I used to be a person who complained and complained, never changing my circumstances. As much as I ranted and raved, I was really hurting people around me without realizing it. My unwillingness to look at the mistakes I had made, and continually to made, put other people in compromising positions as my friends and family. Someone told me once that I needed to stop what I was doing and look at my recent past. The things I had complained about were a direct result of what I was doing in the present. If I could change my present and the things I was doing now, then it would have an immediate result.

This was eye-opening for me. I decided to change my attitude, first and foremost, and then identify all the other little things I needed to mold differently. One of the things I had always wanted to change was my ability to accept criticism without feeling put-down, angry, resentful, or even humiliated, I had to look at the underlying issue. Why did I react the way I did when people around me didn't have the same reactions when they too, received criticism? It has to do with what is in our hearts.

Yes, I am back to speaking on the matters of the heart.

The heart is our mainframe component of emotions, literally speaking, of course. We feel with and react from our hearts. It's completely human. However, as we are human, we also have minds to control how we react. Logically speaking, we are able to process what is being spoken to us, and our mind reacts with our heart for emotional response, and computes it with a logical response. In other words, our mind tells our body how to interpret the data and how to physically respond. If we hear criticism, our hearts can put up a defense, put out an offense, or even turn away in resentment.

This is how we know if our hearts are healthy. While I cannot simply describe how to change the computation reaction between your heart and mind, I can say that the first place to begin in changing your heart, is to always think with your mind first. Be logical in how you hear things, realizing that if you change your thoughts, your reactions will soon follow, and therefore, you'll be more able to understand the true intentions behind someone's criticism. This is what worked well and still works for me. I now accept criticism openly, always looking to find ways to improve myself.

This can also apply to your life in various ways. If you want to change a character flaw, you need to retrain your mind to accept, first and foremost, that you have to change. Change your attitude and change your thoughts. Everything else will soon follow. You must remain diligent...if you are able to keep your mind focused on new pathways, then you'll develop the new pathways into habits for good! It takes 21 days to develop a new habit, so stick with it. If you don't know how to change your thoughts, I have another post that will help you! Read it here!

I hope this helps you get through the day and that if you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment below. I hope you all have blessed days and that where ever you are, you have a smile upon your faces. Don't fear this big, bad, "C" word any longer! Change is a good thing!

Much love and CHANGE,

Your Emmy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Accountability for Ourselves

I didn't think that I would be writing again today...but so have it, God revealed some amazing insight with me and I feel compelled to write. This is going to be a little shorter and more to the point than some of my other entries. Maybe not so sweet though...

In our life journeys, we endure trials and obstacles. I firmly believe that with each and every obstacle comes a lesson learned and a purpose. Sometimes the trials are so hard that we end up getting hurt, chastised, or even ignored. But the one thing that remains is that God is always on our side. He doesn't agree with every little thing we think or do, but when we allow Him to, we go through things that He wants us to go through so we can learn from them and shed the weight of our character He doesn't like. We have to climb mountains to exercise our faith. We climb and climb to the top, feeling weak, tired, and sore; however, when we make it through the hardest parts, the rest of the journey is so much easier. While working your way up to the top of the mountain, you may fall and hurt yourself, but you need to keep climbing. You will make it out with abrasions and other wounds, but in the end, these wounds heal and you will have gained so much.

On the other side of the mountain, we can come out with having learned humility, compassion, love, understanding, and inner strength, amongst so many other things. We can look at our healing wounds and the scars with a poor attitude, wondering why we look so worn and imperfect. However, choosing to accept these scars as battle scars helps in attitude because we won the battle. We are winning the war! According to your faith, you can define this war in any particular way you desire. The war can be raged against life itself, or maybe the enemy that we recognize as Satan, perhaps even ourselves, but one thing is certain--life is hard, sometimes it doesn't ever get easier, but the more we are adamant in pushing through, the easier it will be to come out on the other side.

So how does this relate to taking accountability for our actions and for ourselves? If we play the victim, we will always be the victim unless we decide otherwise. If we allow the negativity in our lives to upset our thinking, our actions will soon follow the same negative pattern if we aren't careful. It can hurt others around us and the worse part is that you may not even realize it. When you realize it, it becomes even harder to change and make better. I speak from the heart in this matter because I have experienced it from both sides.

I write this because I deeply care about every person who comes across this blog and seeks to find something...if you are reading this to learn about God and a growing spirituality, or here for reading about my words and my thoughts, specifically if you do not have nice thoughts about me and are trying to find evidence for reasons why, then I encourage you to think about where your thoughts are coming from.

I wrote previously, and on numerous occasions, about holding our thoughts captive. I may be the author of this entire public blog, but I am also a student in it, for when I am learning new things, I like to write about them here. My blog is not a place for judgment or condemnation, nor is it a place for others to take my words and use them against me, but more or less to talk openly about my spiritual journey and encouraging others to join me...

I hope this clears up a lot of thoughts about my purpose in writing my blog, or that maybe you can understand where my heart really is. I find that the more I try to show my heart, the more it gets beaten. This is the only place I have almost completely felt safe to reveal it in the open and when I feel my heart isn't in the right place, I don't write, knowing that my words will affect others. My mind resorts to Proverbs 4:23, which says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." I have learned that even in the truest of intentions, our hearts get hurt when we don't realize the course we are walking upon.

So with this in mind, I hope you all have an amazing day and that you are blessed. If I could give you all a hug, I would...and that is truth right there.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Upwards Growth/Growing Upwards...

My birthday is in a few weeks and I will be 23-years-old. It hardly seems old, but it certainly feels that way, especially since I have overcome a lot of obstacles to get where I am in the world today. I still have a lot of obstacles. I like to say that the mountain always looks bigger from the top or from the bottom--basically, in the middle (the hardest part) or from the beginning of the journey. It's all about perspective. I always like to refer to life as a series of mountains and trails because the issues we go through and endure are ascending and descending points in our journeys.

I'm not the only one to compare life to such an earthy terrain; Sheryl Crow's famous hit, "Everyday is a Winding Road" is a great example. Want a sample? Here:

So, it is January...the month of new beginnings and hopes. New Year's Resolutions are a big topic to talk about, and yet, so easily given up upon. I don't have much room to speak, especially since I only kept about half of my resolutions--even then, some of them weren't exactly how I had pictured these goals to be. However, I will rejoice in saying that in the past year, I have grown upward. I cannot say that I am completely "grown up," as I don't think that any specific person can truly say he or she has reached the culmination point of growth. As beings with minds, hearts, and spirits, in an ever-changing world, we are constantly growing in many areas. That isn't to say that we are limited by our 'selves,' but in a general sense of 'being,' we are adaptable, and therefore, always capable of getting better at being some form of ourselves in an improved way--completely biased on perspective, of course.

Okay, so this blog isn't completely like my other ones--where I discuss Biblical principles or inspiration. Today, I wanted only to talk about growing upwards. Let's use that term from now on--upwards. I think it sounds more true to the meaning--or at least the meaning of it that I am trying to convey here in these simple words. Words are just words, after all, but I do find that they float around in my mind, in no particular order, until they are overflowing. Whence overflowing, each word sputters out as if it were manufactured by a single machine. Each word is a simple piece of a larger contraption...and they slowly build up to become something better. Okay, that was randomly off-topic. To tie it in, I suppose I could comment on how I feel that my upwards growth reveals a less random spiel of you believe me? I wouldn't... ^.^

So, back to topic. Upwards growth. Growing upwards. My story starts out with last year--while I had a deeply philosophical principle in thinking, I was lacking on a spiritual side. I prayed, but didn't like to meditate. Sometimes I get into a deep mindset where I can be so selfish in thinking all about my life and getting what I need to survive, but am brought back to humble ground when I am forced to feel empathy or sadness for another person. I get so wrapped up in the things that don't really matter in the essence of things, so in turn, my spirituality lacks because the physical and practical things are being met in a better way. Of course, sometimes this isn't easy to control--I had a huge life change occur in 2010, and it took me several months to adjust. I am still adjusting to some of it, but I think that's where my upwards growth occurred.

So here is a little back story of my life for you to understand my thinking perhaps a smidgeon. The longest stability I have ever had in my life was living with my family for a couple years in one place, to only move again...and again...and again...and yet again. My mind was trained to continually uproot myself in friendships, family, and most social situations. I can still be quite socially awkward...which I find is easily blamed on and given credit to the 'nurture' perspective. Wouldn't that be a cop-out though?

I think back to who I was five years ago, and I realize that I was very introverted, trudging through emotional pressures by burying them. I resisted change and didn't want to let go of the pains and hurts, but at one point, I realized that holding them in my heart is just like ingesting poison, day after day. That was the big life change I endured in 2010. Done was I with the victim mentality, the pain, and the pity parties.

I believe in change...we are meant to evolve. My evolution periods are just different than everyone else. Through this change, I gained so much growth in my 'self' and in a spiritual way. What I go through is not caused by nor influenced solely by my past, but instead, by my current decisions. If I fail to complete a project today, I reap the consequences tomorrow, and I cannot blame my past for it.

So I will live in today. Today I choose to not feel guilty anymore for who I am in my journey. I am at the top of my mountain, slowly descending to calmer roads...where I can give subtle advice to those seeking it. I embrace change now. In fact, I like to know what I can become. If I don't change, then the person I want to be is a reflection of a dream land-- far away, untouchable, since my old person doesn't fit into the world of my desires. I want to me extroverted, kinder, thoughtful, loving, bubbly, passionate, uplifting, inspiring, carefree, and so many more.

Gotta keep shedding the old stuff to make room for the new! Here's to a NEW year! 2012 is going to be even better than last year, and I will love myself even more this year than I did last year.

Let your self-love pull you through your trials and embrace those strengths.

With snowy "peaks,"

Your Emmy.

 (Picture was taken of the trees in the back yard)
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