November 10, 2017

Three Life Changes That Have Made All The Difference

Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties
OUTFIT DETAILS
Dress, OLD NAVY // OTK Socks, FREE PEOPLE // Bag, FOREVER 21
Booties, JACK ROGERS // Earrings, c/o LISI LERCH // Monogram necklace, c/o ONECKLACE
Bangles, KENDRA SCOTT // Watch, MICHAEL KORS 


Back in October, I shared this life update and confided in you all that I was leaning into the idea of sharing more about my faith, my personal journey, and my testimony. A few days ago I posted this on instagram and twitter and received a lot of feedback from followers that let me know I was making the right decision to pursue what my heart was telling me. I've known for a while that this blog and my voice are meant for more than daily outfit posts and eye candy. Don't get me wrong, that's definitely still part of who I am at my core, but over the course of 2017 I've given into God's voice telling me that I was built for more than that, my purpose is more than that. Starting with today's post I want to combine my love for everyday, attainable style and eye candy with life insight and wisdom and little nuggets of advice. I already have several posts in mind to get things started. I would love for this to be a place that you can count on for all the pretty things you've come to know and love but now with a new life breathed into it. To be very blunt with y'all, I'm done with surface-level. I'm not an on-the-surface person in my personal life and relationships, and I don't want my blog to feel that way. There will always be things that I keep private from the blog, but when it comes to the focus of my posts, I want them to have substance and grip and leave you feeling something.

Because of the nature of substantial content like that, it could mean fewer posts. Quality over quantity. That seems to be a trend lately in the blogging community. Several bloggers that I follow daily are taking this approach, and I appreciate the transparency a lot. Bloggers like Katie, Lacey, and Kristyn have all shared posts about getting back to what really matters - unplugging from social media, not giving into the comparison game, and sharing bits of advice that readers can actually use in their day-to-day life.

Today I'm diving in head-first and sharing three changes that I've made in my life recently that have changed my days, my out look on life, and my overall mental health. 

Happy weekend, friends!


Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties


Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties


One. THERAPY // If you're considering making an appointment with a therapist I'm that friend who will say YES and then ask if you've done it until you do. Obviously, the fact that this life change made it on the list tells you that my experience in therapy has been a positive one. I know this isn't for everyone. I really do. I promise. But for those of you who are throwing around the idea or for those of you who maybe didn't have a great experience in your past - all I'm saying is give it a try. My therapist has changed my life. No, really. Reframing how I think about the world, how I think about the people in it, how to manage my anxiety, how to set goals and move toward them. . . I started out seeing her once a week and now I go every other week. The impact that she's made on me is obvious to anyone who knows me personally. It's disappointing that there's such a stigma attached to mental health. Taking care of that part of who you are is no different than getting your teeth cleaned twice a year or taking medicine when you're sick. Therapy for me is about pursuing my maximum potential. There's an effortlessness and confidence that comes with operating at your peak performance. It's a liberating feeling.


Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties
  

Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties


Two. DAILY TIME WITH GOD // This has never been a priority for me, to be honest. I always knew that it should be, but it just wasn't. I could never get into a routine, and I could never find inspiration in devotionals. That changed this summer when I downloaded the First 5 App (created by Proverbs 31 Ministries). The idea is that you spend the first few moments of your day with God before you take on the world. The idea completely changed how I looked at my one-on-one time with God. Using the app then transitioned to listening to a talk by Lysa Terkeurst or a sermon from Pastor Steven Furtick or a series of videos by Francis Chan (usually while I get ready for work). Starting my day with God in some way, changes everything. The days that I don't make time for it, I can tell a difference. It's notable. It's enough to make me check myself and get back on track. I've also started my first online Bible study hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries. It centers around Max Lucado's book Anxious for Nothing and is helping us work through what God tells us about anxiety, fear, contentment. I also read Lysa Terkeurst's book Uninvited over the summer and it brought me to a new place of peace about who I am and how God created me. (If you want to discuss more about my journey, send me an email - julieleahblog@gmail.com)


Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties


Black floral dress Old Navy, Jack Rogers booties


Three. SAYING NO // The ability to say "no" should be classified under super power. I mean, really. How often have you given into something that you really didn't have time for but you felt bad to say no? Knowing when it's right and good for you to say no can make a huge difference in your overall well-being. We're a society of "do more, be busy," - busy equals important, busy equals value. I've learned in the last couple of years, that's simply not true. Being busy or appearing busy does not give you purpose. And piling one thing on top of another on top of another doesn't make you happier, in fact, it makes you stressed. And stress means irritability. And irritability does not a happy person make. Here's the thing about saying no: Actually saying it may be the easy part for you. It's the guilt that follows that can be heavy. Saying no is a valuable form of self-care and one that we all would do well to practice a little more often. It's ok to stay home on a Friday night and just rest. It's ok to not go to the baby shower. It's ok to not take on a new responsibility at work. It does not make you any less successful, valuable, or respected.

(PS: These photos were taken on the portrait setting of my iPhone 8 Plus. Isn't that amazing?!)

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3 comments

Girl Meets Bow said...

I am just so happy for your friend- you are radiating JOY! These are such a important life lessons/habits for all of us and love that you have come to such a happy place in your life!

Piper Ellice said...

I totally agree with all three! Especially #2--I've found focusing on God first thing each day makes every other decision, problem, etc. a little clearer to deal with.

Piper Ellice @ piperellice.com
Starting Out Southern Blog

Isa Machado said...

Amazing outfit dear!

Isa M., Tic Tac Living

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