I was eleven when I caught the broadcast bug.
My fifth grade class was on a field trip to a place called “Exchange City”. It’s basically a large room decorated to look like a little town. I asked for and was given the reporter job.
I had my Limited Too sunglasses on top of my head, my sparkly purse by my side, and a microphone in my hand. I never looked back.
I don’t think I have stopped working my butt off since then. I got a letter from the mayor to ensure I had a spot in freshman year’s TV Production class. I spent my Saturday mornings competing in Speech and Debate's TV category instead of sleeping in. I read web scripts in front of my mirror after class to find my “reporter voice”. That was just my first year of high school!
This trend continued as I officially joined the speech team, landed a spot on the school’s morning announcement show, and edited my first packages for TV class. When I got to college, I could already do what many of my peers could not because of high school opportunities.
I never slowed down. I had four jobs relating to journalism by my junior year of college, and got out of school a year early to get a head start in my field.
Bragging? Nope. Proving my seemingly healthy drive? Absolutely. I mean, most success stories sound like this right?
Alllllll of this stuff, plus a little luck, landed me in a bigger city than I thought was possible for my first full-time reporting job. I came home to Memphis, TN nine months after I turned 21. I landed my dream job. All that work had paid off!
Isn’t it amazing what we as humans think will satisfy us?
Before we get to me, let me tell you a little bit about my friend Solomon. He was David’s son, and God literally granted him the gift of wisdom. So, he wasn’t just smart… he was the smartest.
Wikipedia says he had almost 40,000 pounds of gold (wanted to be specific), so he was also the richest. He had hundreds of wives. Dude had it all.
Yet, he wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:14, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
You may feel a little depressed hearing this, but once my pastor spoke these words I felt a wave of comfort fall over me.
When I sit down with friends nowadays, I hear about their struggles with jobs. I have been told I am lucky several times. Truthfully though, it is all meaningless.
You will never ever EVER find satisfaction in your job. To the outside world I was and am thriving!
But, did the dream job stop the panic attacks? No. Did I consistently crumble on the floor swearing I was going to get fired for the first year of my career? Yep.
So friends, please stop trying to find your happiness in the things of the world. The only thing that has provided consistent joy in my life is Jesus. It almost feels like a shortcut to me now that I have found this for myself.
What do you mean I don’t have to work desperately hard to achieve status and become happy?
All I have to do is truly trust in the Lord and I just… find joy?
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.”
This verse is printed everywhere, and it’s easy to skim. But, go back and read it slower. Plans to prosper you. Plans to not harm you. Hope. A future.
Dreams are wonderful things and gifts from God! But, learn from my mistakes. Follow your dreams, but don’t rely on them to sustain your happiness. You’re more than a dream, you’re a child of God.
Maybe it was the princess castle, or the wizard’s wands... but I truly think these friends of mine brought the magic to Los Angeles during our 4 day reunion.
While I’m partial to the South, LA has the amazing ability to change in an instant. From Hollywood to Anaheim, these three amigos packed our bags & had a new experience every single day of our trip.
I brought a ton of souvenirs home, but the best thing I brought with me was the realization of how blessed I am. Alex let us stay in her fabulous apartment the entire trip & was such a great tour guide to the city. Shelby did her research & touristed hard with me. We all made memories that will last a lifetime, & I truly hope this post will inspire a group of girlfriends to get out & visit each other! It's not where you go, it's who you're with.
I’m 23-years-old, 5’4”, and 130 lbs.
Yep. I said it… my weight. It’s a risky thing to do. As part of my brain screams “nooo” I am coming up with judgements you’ll pass onto me now that you know.
“Wow, she hides it well.”
“You can definitely see the extra pounds on TV.”
“Girl needs a hamburger.”
See, as women we never can seem to find the perfect number on the scale. Society will tell us we’re too skinny or too fat… sometimes I even get both at the same time with “Wow you’re much smaller in real life than on TV.”
Lately, I have been on good terms with that last number up there. Though, it hasn’t always been the case. Turns out, even when you’re not dealing with an eating disorder, you can still have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with health itself.
I cannot remember the first time I compared my body to another. I grew up dancing, and instead of concentrating on form, I sometimes looked around the room.
“I want that person’s thighs, and another’s flat abs. The girl next to me has a great butt. I bet guys would like me if I had one like hers,” my 14-year-old self would think.
Through the years I've had constant struggles with my body. I lost 15 pounds in one summer after I was called fat for the first time. I was 16, and would try to avoid meals by staying busy.
I had the dreaded (but common) Freshman 15. That year started with gluttony, then came the most insecure time of my life, and ended back at counting calories again.
And of course, I've gone through a few revenge break up body months where I hardly ever left the gym. I will admit, ab workouts are great ways to get rid of anger... but nothing good comes out of doing something to spite someone else.
It took me a long time to realize each one of these phases of life stem from the same internal issue. I idolized physical appearance.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”
Our bodies are not ours. They are the Lord’s. Temples were buildings used for prayer and sacrifice to God. However, many people in the Bible would use them to gain a personal profit. This upset Jesus so much that he started flipping tables (See Matt. 21). That peaceful guy you see hugging children in paintings… these guys got HIM angry.
So, it makes me wonder… How angry does God get when we work to gain a profit of beauty by controlling what goes in and out of our body?
I now look at photos from the past and can hardly tell a change in weight. Though many of those seasons included weeks where I would think about my stomach growling more than what I was saying in a prayer. I would talk terribly to myself after I had one too many cookies. I’d spend more time counting calories in an app than going through prayer requests.
1 Samual 16:7 says, “But the lord said to Samuel, “do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the lord looks on the heart.”
I used to ask God to either take away my low self-esteem or cockiness (depending on phase of life), so I could have that good heart. Now I realize it’s several sneaky sins that lead to an issue in the first place. Vanity, coveting, and idolization are sins I commit in multiple ways just relating to the way I view my body.
But thankfully, Psalm 139:14 tells us “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.”
I work to combat vanity by praising God for giving me a body that can withstand a 5k, instead of praising myself when I cross the finish line.
I try not to covet the bodies of Instagram models, but love the one I was blessed with.
Through this, I work consistently to think less about my physical appearance... slowly tackling each idol I have created on the subject.
Having a healthy view on body image is definitely not a struggle I am through with… especially when I am on TV every morning. But, if I can get through a day knowing I am truly fearfully and wonderfully made... I know God is working to distance the girl I was at the ballet barre, from the woman that strives to love His wonderful work of art today.
**I want to clearly state that I am not talking about any kind of eating disorders in this post. Those are diseases, and I have no right to speak on that topic. This also has nothing to do with fasting, which I think is an amazing way to honor God!
I'll let you in on a secret: I love words.
These are words that make my heart flutter.
Words can bind two people in a marriage or break a heart. They can name a newborn child or drive someone to kill.
In 2018, we are accustomed to getting out our words out as quickly as possible. Then, we can edit & delete them.
That's why letters are so wonderful! (There I go using one of my favorite words.) Letters give the reader your uncensored thoughts, while showing them how much effort they're worth. I mean, how many times have you written a note since middle school?
I am new to this letter thing, but I'll give you one rule you have to follow: You Do You.
Want to use monogrammed cards? Go for it. More of a notebook paper gal (or guy)? Fold it up. Fan of cute quote cards from Target? Start writing. Your friends & family will undoubtely enjoy a letter that looks like you, just as they will love reading it.
Tell someone you thought of them during your walk to work, or thank them for their hospitality. Literally any excuse to write someone is a good one.
Trust me, you'll become the favorite friend fast with just a few stamps. :)
When I was in middle school I distinctively remember two guys sticking pencils in my curly, large hair. (Think Sarah Jessica Parker + more frizz.) I would beg God to let big hair come back in style as Lauren Conrad & Paris Hilton graced the covers of magazines with pin straight locks.
Over time, I memorized enough YouTube tutorials to braid, curl, & tease my hair enough to get a few compliments. Now, it's one of my favorite things about me! However, the short TV hair is new to me, & I haven't been able to find a unique look I love... until now!
The Dry House in Green Hills always looked glamorous across my Instagram feed. Celebs would tag the salon enough for me to finally follow them, & I had to make an appointment. They did not disappoint & I even got a turn at the selfie wall! If you ever need to Treat Yo Self, this is the place to do it.
Happy New Year! I am spending my week off in Nashville.
Ya'll know I'm a Memphis girl, but this city has my heart this week! I met up with friends in the 615 & made sure we got the full tourist experience.
These pictures were taken on the cutest alley in the 12 South area. We used a cupcake ATM & sipped sweet tea while trying on clothes at Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's store).
We also stopped to take these pictures in 20 degree weather. Freezing never felt so fabulous.