16 things I would tell my 16 year old self.

We’ve been hiking, walking, trekking, and camping the last few weekends.

We took a road trip up the entire East Coast of Korea & it was fabulous.

While, I still plan to talk about traveling & share photos with you I’m going to leave the bulk of the hiking adventures up to Tom over at his blog. He does a fantastic job documenting all of our hiking adventures here in Korea. He’s got quite a few posts to catch up on!!! Here’s your nudge hunny ūüôā We’ve been busy, but as soon as he posts some new ones- I’ll keep you in the loop.

If I could write a letter to me. A letter to the 16 year old Elicia. This is what I would want to say. Who knows, maybe in 20 years I ‘ll be able to dig this ol’ thing up and read it to my own kids. They are not necessarily in a specific order. Cause that’s just how I do. So, here we go. If I could write a letter to 16 year old me:

Hey girl,

1.You’re perfectly & wonderfully made. You are exactly what God had in mind when he created you.

2. Go tell your parents ‘thank you’ for everything they do for you. The list is endless. They’ve supported, loved, and pushed you to be the best person you could be. Even when rules seem unfair. It’s because they love you. UGH I KNOW. I know what you’re thinking. How annoying. I’m serious. Go thank them.

3. Get up earlier. Mornings are peaceful, glorious, and new. You’ll still hate mornings in 10 years, but when you’re awake early it’s just magical. I promise.

4.Start showing everyone more love. Talk to everyone. Make friends with the kids at school who look different, act different, and who look lonely. They need it & actually so do you. You need diversity in friends, experiences, and culture.

5. You’re 16. You probably feel somewhere between an adult and a kid. Let me tell you something though in case you aren’t sure.You’re still a kid. Heck, in 10 years you’ll still sorta be a kid. ¬†Right now you¬†still live under your parents roof, you can’t vote, drink legally, rent a car, or a buy a house. You can hardly drive & the hardly driving thing¬†won’t change much as you get older. You’ll never be the best driver. So freaking be careful on the road. Don’t you ever think of texting and driving.

6. Life has disappointments. So many of them. They are gonna bring you down. Sometimes bring you down hard…but guess what? Tomorrow the sun is still going to come up. The world is still going to turn & tomorrow is a new day. It might seem like a catastrophe now, but you’ll get over it.

7. Speaking of #6- Get over it. Don’t dwell in the negative too long. Focus on the joys in life & things that make you happy. What makes you happy? Go do it. Even at 16 you know what things bring you joy. Hold onto that and put yourself out there. Is it running? Baking? Drawing? ¬†I say go for it. ¬†Be joy.

8. Try new things. Now’s the time to immerse yourself in things you thought you would never try. Sign up for that art¬†class in high school or that basic automotive class. Read a book. Go on a bike ride. Do things and do lots of them. The most interesting people have many interests.¬†

9.In the end…everything is going to be okay. If it’s not okay…it’s most certainly not the end.

10. That math you’re doing that makes you wanna pull out your hair? Yeah, let’s chat about that. It feels pointless, yeah? ¬†It isn’t. That math is teaching you persistence, patience, and hard work. That math is preparing you for life girl. Don’t you think about giving up. You may not want to be a mathematician, but that math is teaching you about life. For real.

11. Don’t be afraid to call mom & dad if you need help. Even when you’re 20. or 40. ¬†If you’ve done something terribly wrong¬†& you’re so disappointed ¬†in yourself. So much that it hurts…call mom & dad. Believe it or not they can tell when you’ve got immense self guilt and sometimes that’s enough punishment in itself. They’re still going to love you¬†more than you’ll ever know. So call them.

12. Be nicer to your sister. Be patient with her in the mornings when she makes you late for school. Stop making her run after the car down the road. Love her. Slowness & all. She understands things no one else in this world ever will. She’s your girl. Take care of her.

13.¬†Stop worrying. You’re probably worried about someone right now. I think that’s a first child thing? God’s gotchu covered kid.

14. The nice people are the ones who go far in life. Mom’s probably told you this… It’s true. SO TRUE.

15. Mom’s always always right. This one you’ll get later on in life. Don’t bother trying to understand it now. It’s true. If she says pack an extra jacket- just nike up & do it. Mom knows.

16. Life gets sweeter as you go. It truly truly does. I can’t say this enough. You think life is cool now? HA! Wait until you meet the guy you’ll marry. ¬†When you first realize that you’re a passionate about kids, teaching, and loving them. Girl, just WAIT until you walk down the aisle & see your husband standing there waiting for you. (Words don’t describe that so I won’t even try!!)

¬†16 is cool girl…but just wait.¬†Life gets sweeter.

Oh, and you’re always gonna be a sap. So just embrace that one.

Love,

me

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–What would you tell yourself at 16?

The friend I want to be.

As adults we really like to complicate things.

For me, ¬†I overthink. I over-analyze. & I’ll be honest…sometimes I’m just a tinch dramatic (blaming my latina jeans on that one ūüėČ

When something is bringing me down it sits inside of me and stirs up havoc. It consumes my thoughts and sends my stomach into knots. You can ask my husband. I need to talk it out. Oftentimes just someone to listen to me and hear me out. 99.9% of the time that’s him, because he’s my person. He always will be. No matter how hard I wish I could be the person to just dismiss problems or concerns ¬†that’ll never be who I am & I wouldn’t be me if I could. I wouldn’t care so deeply, continuously commit, and I couldn’t invest so thoroughly in¬†friendships if I could just dismiss problems. That isn’t who I am and that wasn’t how I was made. When things seem to spin out of control I realize that’s because it’s me trying to control everything & I’m trying to figure it all out rather than stepping back & giving it up to God. We silly humans try to control it all. Society tells us we can get it if we want it…just work harder. Before I get ahead of myself let me backup for a hot second.

We all need “our people.” The ones who would be there in the middle of the night no questions asked. The ones who don’t make you feel like a burden to them. The ones who’ll pull through and root for you in the crappy¬†times & the joyous¬†¬†moments that life will bring. The ones who’ll be there when you’re away & when you’re near. In 5 years & in 30. The ones who will call you out, push you, cheer¬†you on, and hold you when you need it. Who’ll show up with wine or treats when you need it most. ¬†You know those people I’m talking about. When you find them hold onto them, because gosh darn it they make life so beautiful.

I’ve been trying to control things that are uncontrollable. I’ve been neglecting the most important relationship & the entire reason of my existence. My relationship with the Lord. ¬†I haven’t been the friend that I want to be. I haven’t talked & I definitely haven’t listened. Let alone read the words that he has given me. Time and time again I’m going to fall short & God’s gonna be there in the middle of the night. He’s gonna show up and hold me when it’s hard. He’s listening & he’s talking. He’ll be there for eternity. He calls me out, pushes me, fulfills me, gives me purpose beyond belief. He loves me more than any human or friend ever will. He’s rooting for me. He’s the friend I’m talking about & that’s the kind of love I want to be. That’s the kind of love that I want to give to others.

We overthink. We over-analyze. & let’s be honest we can all be a bit dramatic in our own silly ways. The past 11 days we’ve been surrounded by love in the form of small moments with friends. In these moments I’ve never seen God more¬†clearly. I feel him holding me. ¬†Lifting me up. Showing up. Pulling through. Reminding me that in every moment he’s right here. Finally, I feel the knots unraveling & my thoughts being freed.

That’s the kind of friend I want to be.

“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.” -John 14:27

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Overcoming the lies.

grace

Do you remember when I wrote Confessions of a Skinny Girl?

Man, I poured my heart out in that post. I couldn’t believe the feedback I got. The messages from people who said they had experienced the same things…and told me to keep writing. ¬†This blog is such a special place for me to be able to pour my heart and soul into these posts that I’ll have forever. It’s my place of the web and I love that I can write what I want, how I want, and when I want. Like I have said before when I first started it was a way to stay connected to family & friends back home while we are living in South Korea and traveling Southeast Asia. Now it’s become my own little place. Where my hope is that I can inspire one person to live better, travel longer, and spread the love!

In a society bombarded by media it’s really hard to sift through what’s truth and what the lies are. There are so many lies I’m surrounded with everyday. So when Ashley from Overcome the Lie contacted me asking me to write about a lie I’ve overcome- I was all in.

One of the biggest lies I can think of that I most recently was faced with was that prostitution is the choice of the people partaking in it. Actually, most of the time it’s not. When I met girls/boys in the Dominican who are faced with forced sexual prostitution everyday as a need to put food on the table and a means of survival…everything changed. When you’re face to face with the people who are forced into sexual slavery you see that it’s REAL. It’s REAL and it’s happening. IT’s happening all over the world. Even in places where we would least expect it. Even in America.

Sex tourism/trafficking is a thing you guys. That makes my stomach turn. It takes a 10 min google search to learn about it. There are places around the world where you can pay to make a choice from a selection of women while on your “vacation.” ¬†According to World Vision it’s estimated that globally 10 million children are subjected to various forms of sexual exploitation in the commercial sex industry. KIDS.

I don’t even know what to say. I’m left speechless at the thought. Before 2 years ago I had no idea that any of this even happened.

These people I met in the Dominican. So broken and fallen apart. Had no idea that there was a Savior who loved them despite all of our human flaws and mistakes. Regardless, of what terrible things had been done to them, regardless of their past. He loved them no reservations. No qualifications. He loves us in our brokenness and in our darkest moments. To me that’s reassuring that even though we are so weak…that our time on Earth is so fleeting… He is strong. That even though I am in this sinful world & I’ve made a lot of mistakes- that God’s grace is enough. ENOUGH. When the world tells us that we are not enough, that we are need to be bigger, better, more beautiful. God is enough. There is nothing more reassuring in this entire world than that.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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