Faith, Life / August 31, 2016

Who You Are Matters

A Christian girl’s thoughts on a rainy day…

If you keep up with the blog, then you may have read my post about financial balance… Well, this one kind of piggy backs off of that, but not in the way you might think. I’m going to be really real with y’all. Now, I always strive to be real. But this time, I mean really real.

I don’t make a lot of money. You probably could have guessed that by all my “ballin’ on a budget” talk. However, in saying this, I want to acknowledge that I’m extremely blessed. When I say “I don’t make a lot of money,” I’ll be honest…I’m comparing myself… To my friends, peers, acquaintances. I’m on the lower end of the financial spectrum compared to these people, but I know that I’m far more fortunate than A LOT of others. Do not think I am trying to disregard that. But still, it is an insecurity of mine. I’m just trying to be honest.

Besides being blessed with a full-time job (regardless of what my industry pays), I am also blessed to have people who love me, and yes, who help me out financially. Again, yes, I’m 24 and I don’t survive on my own. And let me tell you, I am cringing writing this. I am so uncomfortable that my cheeks are literally red with embarrassment. What is wrong with me…

Let me first speak to my boyfriend, Alex. The man is a saint. I have never known such unconditional love in someone who did not put me on this earth. He makes me feel beautiful, respected, intelligent, important, valued, every single day of my life. And on top of that, he is my provider. I kind of struggle with the concept of a man covering nearly all of my finances, if I’m being honest. Yet, he does it every day, without a second thought. What did I do to deserve him? I’m a lucky girl.

And then, there are my parents. My sweet, sweet parents. Who not only have put up with me for 24+ years, but continue to be an incredible support system as well. Since Alex is perfectly able to provide for me alone, I don’t really need financial assistance from them. But still, they’ve been known to throw me a bone every once in a while. And for that, I want to acknowledge that I’m grateful.

Now, I want to write to y’all what’s on my heart…in hopes that maybe someone can relate and together we can feel less alone. Which is why I initially started talking about my finances. Because they have been so heavy on my heart lately. And it’s not so much the thought that I don’t have money, but more so the shame that I can’t provide.

And then, last Sunday in church, the Lord spoke to me loud and clear. Our pastor started with a few passages from Ephesians 5…

“Wives, submit to your husbands as you do the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

I love this verse, for many reasons, but that day I got something out of it that I hadn’t before. My pastor kindly reminded me of a few very important things: We all have different roles in the Kingdom of God, and who you are matters in the body of Christ.

Just because I cannot provide financially, does not mean I do not matter or serve my own purpose. And as I sat in the renovated warehouse that is our church, I heard so clearly what my heart was yearning for… You CAN HAVE PEACE over your finances. You are not called to be the provider, but your purpose is EQUALLY as important.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened up to Alex, feeling insecure that I can’t take care of myself, like, on my own. And although I know he is more than comfortable being my provider, I can’t kick that feeling of wishing I contributed. But God spoke to me on Sunday…and He told me I do. He told me that my puzzle piece, my purpose, my unique contribution is just as important…in my relationship with Alex and in this world.

And because of that, I will continue to work… both on my career, and on myself. I will continue to ask my God to mold my heart into one that resembles His, and to strengthen the unique skills he has blessed me with. To make clear to me my purpose, and the areas in life that am needed…the ways in which I can provide.

So here I am, dying to share this message with you. Dying to spread His love and, y’all, His TRUTH! Because that’s what it is, the truth! There is nothing I am more sure of in this world. If you’re feeling inadequate, don’t. Those thoughts of self-consciousness and insecurity are not from our Father. You are made whole through the love of Jesus, and created uniquely in His perfect image. What you bring to the table completes the body of Christ.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Now if the foot should say ‘because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

If we all had the same purpose, what a boring world this would be. It is time that we embrace our own strengths and purposes. I thank God for who I am, and vow to glorify him in all that I do.




Fashion, Yoga / August 26, 2016

My Favorite (Budget Friendly) Yoga Pant

With snapshots featuring my parents’ garage…

When you agree to dinner but have to prepare for a blog post, you do what you gotta do… #Priorities

When you ball on a budget it can be hard to find yoga pants that are both comfortable and stylish, AND in your price range. I’ll be honest…I can’t afford lululemon or any of the other fancy yoga brands. Do I want to? SO BAD. Can I justify it? I just can’t. Let me be real, I did splurge on the lululemon yoga mat because I had heard so many great things (and I will admit, it did not disappoint), but other than that I own some shorts and headbands, which, by the way, were all gifts. I’ve tried affordable yoga pants from many places and never thought I was missing out UNTIL…until I tried the yoga pants by Aerie. Yes, Aerie by American Eagle. No, I’m not in high school. I’m simply a 20-something who loves yoga, cute clothing and above all, COMFORT. Bear with me.

The number one reason I love Aerie yoga pants…drumroll please…THE FIT. I’m getting pretty predictable aren’t I? See, I’m a 7/8 length kind of gal. The crops and 3/4 pants are too short and slide up my calves while I practice, whereas the full length feels like it’s smothering me. Don’t ask why…I know I’m weird. I just prefer to show a little ankle and the slight breeze I get with that. It may seem like a silly thing but when you’re bending every which way, comfort is a necessity.

Not only do I like the length options, I like the way the waist fits too. Now they took me a second to get used to because they rise above your belly button. At first I was like what the crap these are high… But after practicing in them I’m OBSESSED. And for a similar reason to the 7/8 length; it makes bending more comfortable. Before I discovered Aerie yoga pants, I found that as I would go from stretching to compressing my body, the top of my pants would find their way right under my belly and end up rolling or flipping down, causing me to have to interrupt my practice to adjust my pants. My Aerie leggings, on the other hand, hold at my natural waistline through my entire practice…never feeling uncomfortable or revealing my midriff.

The third “fit” reason is the stretch factor. I’ve purchased yoga pants before that are adorable, and pretty affordable, but are really not very stretchy. They’re fine for everyday comfort, or even cardio for that matter, but when I practice yoga in them there’s a lot of resistance in the material. Like, my body is working hard enough…I don’t need my pants working against it. – And yet another category that Aerie takes the cake.

And y’all, I’ve gotten yoga pants from there for as little as $12. No joke. Now, they were on sale, but they are consistently running items on sale. For a typical full-price pant you are looking at between $20 and $45… Not too shabby if you ask me.

Can I tell you one other little secret? I get away with these at work… I’m seriously the worst. But that’s another reason I like the longer lengths, because you can wear them easier as leggings under a slouchy shirt with some cute sandals and people will probably not even notice that they’re actually yoga pants. I will do absolutely anything for comfort. If you know me, you know I’m not lying.

So, product details: yoga pants…well, you know. You can find this exact pair here —> Deep Plum Legging. The bralette is South Moon Under. And as mentioned before, the mat is lululemon.

What is your favorite place to shop for yoga pants? Someplace that makes them comfortable, above all! Us ballers on a budget gotta look out for one another.