*looks at the hours I’ve slept this week* *sips coffee and laughs evilly at the world*
Mood, huh? At least, right now that’s my mood and it probably won’t change until the weekend. Isn’t life an interesting conundrum? And yes. This post will have long words because when I’m tired I don’t have the energy to search for shorter synonyms.
This is week two of a post without a definite topic. Blame it on the fact that all my energy is going into different places. Isn’t it the most aggravating thing that we only have so much energy, so we must pick favorites?
*proceeds to groan as my wet dog runs inside and climbs on top of my computer*
Well. That was a pleasant interruption. Regardless, I shall continue. Because I have limited energy and braincells, most of those braincells are going into publishing my book, Fifteen. It’s less than a month until launch day and yes. I am very much nervous.
But! Never fear, my dears. I shall return my gaze to my blog before the fateful October 23.
*pauses to glare at my dog as she huffs and scratches my chair*
*proceeds to take a break to chase my dog around the room*
Alright, excuse that interruption. Star has been deeply grieved by my lack of attention, and so I couldn’t risk offending her again. Yesterday, if I even looked at her, she would huff and turn her back to me.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Returning my gaze to my blog. Starting October 10th, I will be hosting a blog tour for Fifteen! It’ll go until October 23rd, on Launch day. So I need all of you beautiful bloggers to help me out.
I love blog tours. When I first started blogging, it was literally the thing I looked forward to the most. Not only does it allow to you make awesome connections and friendships, you’re also able to gain a few new followers. (At least, that was always my experience.)
Anyway! If you’re interested in joining the party, you can sign up here. I should be contacting everyone who signs up a week before the tour, so if you don’t hear from me by then . . . I don’t know what you should do. XD
Anyway, thank you all for enjoying this rambley post. I promise, when I have more sleep and energy, these posts will be pulled back together again.
One of the most exhausting things for me is the ups and downs of my mental health. How one week I can be totally exhausted with no motivation, no desire to eat, no desire to clean, no desire to do anything and little to no creative inspiration, while the next week I can be bouncing off the walls and destroying stress balls.
And somedays, like today, I have no idea what I’m going to be blogging about. 😂 For awhile, I had a beautiful blogging schedule, but since . . . well, the pandemic, I haven’t had one, and I haven’t take the time or mental energy to plan one. I think that’s okay.
It’s okay to sometimes not be scheduled, to sometimes not do everything you feel like you need to do. Sometimes it’s okay to just play with your dog or pace the house.
But this week has been a productive week, and so I’m celebrating. XD I’m celebrating because I haven’t felt like crap, I’ve been able to appreciate the little things, like the dimple in my sister’s smile and the puns I can make out of things people say. (I had to stop myself in one instance, though, when I wanted to make a joke about getting to the root of the matter, because the puns were already running too deep. 😂)
On Tuesday I made cinnamon rolls with yeast, and they were amazing. I love cinnamon rolls almost as much as I love my dog, and since I don’t eat gluten, I don’t get them enough. But I’ve been in a baking kick recently, and so I’ve made them twice, once without yeast and once with yeast.
On Thursday, I decided that I needed a pumpkin spice latte. The problem is that I think pumpkin spice is the most disgusting thing on the planet. However, I reasoned with myself that if I made it at home, perhaps it wouldn’t taste as much as vomit as it does when you get it from a well known coffee chain.
But I had one problem. We had no pumpkin purée.
Now, normal people don’t even THINK about making homemade pumpkin spice latte. Slightly abnormal people would give up when they realized that they were out of pumpkin purée. But Amie? Why Amie doesn’t give up once she has an idea in her head, and so I used decorative pumpkins, made my own purée and made the most delicious pumpkin spice latte I have ever tasted.
Yes, it was worth the extra hour and a half. 😂
You all want an update on Fifteen? Well, I suppose I must grant you your request. All the pre-order goodies are in, and I’m LIVING for them. I mean, how can you get any cuter? I’m such a sucker for any kind of pre-order goodie, so as soon as I knew I was publishing Fifteen, I knew I had to do pre-order goodies.
So I obviously want you to get them, because what’s the fun of keeping them all for myself? If you pre-order the paperback here and take a picture of your receipt, and then fill out this form here, you’ll get your own pre-order goodies. *bounces all around*
Yes, I am low-key obsessed my own goodies. 😂
Now, there’s another announcement about Fifteen that’s coming up, but I’m going to be telling it to my email list first. If you haven’t joined the Newsies, goodness! You’re missing out! My email list gets the first news about my activities, and sometimes, when I’m in a good mood, they get my random ramblings and my favorite things.
I only send out emails . . . once-two times a month, if even then. I’m slightly sporadic, but you know. Work on one thing at a time. If you’d like to sign up for that, you can do it here.
(Go do that before I send out the next email, because guysssssss. It’s going to be full of fun stuff, and I’m so super excited to write it.)
So, all of you followers are looking at me, wondering what on earth this blog post is. I’m wondering the same thing. It think it’s a lot of things. 😂 And it’s definitely not professional in the least, but give me a break. I need a break, or I might break and that would be definitely something.
What is your favorite season? Winter is coming fast and I am SO glad. Please, I need more sweatshirts and comfy pants and beanies. And boots. Though I wear boots year round because I’m a rebel. *salutes.
Ugh, I’m getting off topic again. Welcome to my brain. Are you excited for Fifteen? What is your favorite fruit? Pumpkin spice, is it everything nice or has it come to ruin your tastebuds?
“Don’t let it get to your head, don’t let it get to your head.”
The words surround you, even after you release them all with a puff, the smoke that slipped out hovers above you. You’re unable to drown it out.
So many things to be thankful for, so many things that should blot it out. But you feel like you’ve made another mistake and the voices again have grown too loud.
Maybe those who protect me are wrong. Maybe the other people are right. Maybe I was immature, maybe I did read into it too much, I probably am being dramatic. I probably should just shut up, sink away, let them win again because this is just way too much for me today.
It’s not my fault? What do you mean? They’re all saying I picked a fight, don’t you see? Shush the voices in my mind, shush everything I’ve been told for a time. Even if all was silent and I was floating above, I would be pulled back down by this weight that at my heart tugs.
Don’t blame yourself, it isn’t your fault. Don’t let the hate keep you from moving along. But how can we do that when all along, we’ve been told to be silent and avoid what is wrong?
How do we stand when our knees are weak? How do we keep moving when all we want to do is weep? Paper cuts mar the most tender heart, tears are what it bleeds among its millions of scars. How can we continue moving when there seems no end of the pain that creates a hurricane within?
Forcing a smile and saying okay, though, in a way, I really am okay. I might be hurting by the words that stung my heart, I might be taking a moment to keep from falling apart, but I’m okay. Because I know.
I know that God will use my message in spite of my fear, my hurt, my pain. I know I serve a God who has created all things. I know that even though I didn’t want to go on this ride, God will be there protecting, comforting, pushing, always on my side.
“Though troubles assail me, and dangers afright. Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite, yet one thing secures us whatever betide: the scripture assures us ‘the Lord will provide.”‘
He will provide in the darkest hour or the most joy filled day. His provision might not give you a butterfly and rainbows type of life, but you will still see his fingerprints on every part of your life. Pain might stun you for hours on end, but He’s always there to pick you up and help you begin again.
Some people may seem to have the perfect life, but everyone has secrets they would prefer to hide. Faith doesn’t stop you from having pain, suffering, and doubt. But holding onto God’s precious promises keeps us from giving up and falling out.
Someday this journey will be over. Someday, our messages and our moments will be through. Someday we’ll get to heaven and have to hand over the talents that are due. Did words stop you from using yours? Did people discourage you from investing the talents that weren’t yours, only lent for you to use?
Take a deep breath and begin again today. So that at the end of the journey we can all sing and say,
“When life sinks apace and death is in view, the word of his grace shall comfort us through; not fearing or doubting, with Christ on our side, we hope to die shouting, ‘Our God will provide!”‘
(quotations from John Newton’s hymn, Though Troubles Assail Us.)
Tuesday was a day, y’all, let me tell you. My dad asks me every week what my highlight of the week was, and I usually answer that I didn’t have one. Well, this week I did.
Tuesday was the cover reveal for my book, Fifteen, and I couldn’t be happier for how it turned out. I’ll be honest, it was kinda surreal until that moment, scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing all the posts that held my book. Very humbling and encouraging.
Because of all the amazing people, I wanted to take a moment and just share their posts and allow you to smile at the beautiful pictures, because oh. My. GOODNESS were some of the pictures lovely.
Guys. *sniffles* Can we just take a moment to explain that Hailey is an amazingly sweet human who has been really supportive of my writing since I met her? I’m so excited about her own writing journey, and if you’re looking for upcoming writers to follow, definitely go give Hailey a follow.
Cerra is another supportive, amazing human, and she has a BEAUTIFUL bookstagram account. She’s working on this awesome story, so I would follow her if you want updates on it. 😉
If you know of me on this small blogosphere and don’t know about Kellyn Roth . . . I don’t know what to say to you. 😂 Kellyn was one of the first bloggers I started following, and I’m so honored to have her supporting my journey. ❤️
Sarah Grace Grzy has been mentioned before on my blog, and we all agree she’s a queen of Instagram, don’t we? I was touched that she took time out of her busy day to post about my book.
Hope! Another amazing writer I know. I’m so thankful that she joined the tour. ❤
Can I just say that basically all of my favorite bookstagrammers helped me out on Tuesday? I was so thrilled to see this post on one of my favorite Instagram feeds.
*takes a deep breath* Okay, this Instagram post did make me shed a tear. Kara is one of my favorite authors and she’s also my writing mentor, so to see this post . . . Yeah, you can imagine how wonderful it was.
I was honored to take place in Tara’s book release in May (? Correct me if I’m wrong on the month, Tara. 😂 All the Quarantine months are running together.) and it was such an honor to see this beautiful post. ❤
*happiness* I get to talk about the amazing Rebekah. In January of this year (I think, again with the month thing. XD It feels like 2020 has been two years instead of one.) Rebekah was super kinda and gave me some mentoring on the publishing world, agents, and writing in general. I’m so thankful for her and her super sweet spirit. ❤
Here’s another blogging queen who also knows her stuff about Instagram. It was such an honor to be included with back to Hogwarts day celebration!
A beautiful picture done by a beautiful bookstagrammer. I was so happy to have Kate help with the cover reveal. She has a lovely bookstagram page with lots of awesome recommendations.
This girl has an aesthetic going, and I hope she never stops. When I stumbled upon Caroline’s bookstagram, I knew I had found a likeminded book reader, and I was so excited when she agreed to help me with the cover reveal.
Sarah Baran is another amazing blogger turned into an epic Instagrammer. I mean, LOOK AT THE PICTURE.
Another beautiful post! I love the soft pink of the background. ❤️ Alea is a talented book cover designer in her own right, and I was so honored to see my book on her feed.
Ryan is another super sweet writer friend who was kind enough to feature me on her Instagram. It was honestly so amazing to see all the amazing people who mentioned me on their stories and posts.
I was so honored to be spotlighted on Anna’s instagram. She does some amazing blackout poetry on her page, so you should totally check it out.
*is so honored by this post*
I wish I had all the stories from Tuesday, but I only took a screen shot of one, because I as fangirling so hard. (Nadine Brandes, Shannon Dittemoore, and Ashley Townsend all had very beautiful stories as well, and those are the ones I really wish I had pictures of.)
It was such an unbelievable day. People also wrote some blog posts about the cover reveal.
Carolyn at Words that Speak interview me and posted about the cover reveal here.
Kaelyn at Kaelyn’s life has enthusiasm that I definitely need. XD I loved her beautiful post that you can read here.
I was honored to have Jana at Reviews from the Stacks join the tour. You can read her post here.
My sweet friend, Juliet Artman, wrote this very sweet email to her email list, which you can join here.
I have truly been blown away by how much you guys have done to support me in the journey. I never dreamed that the cover reveal day would have so many participants, or that in the days that I followed my little book would be ranking #2 (for a short time, lol) in Young Adult Poetry eBooks, or that it would be ranking #1 in Christian poetry.
I never wanted to release my poems to the world, but God often calls us to do things we don’t want to do. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
That basically sums up my feelings about Fifteen.
If you want to pre-order the ebook, you can do so by going here or if you would prefer to pre-order a paperback, you can go here.
IF you pre-order a paperback, you can get pre-order goodies here. And let me tell you, the pre-order goodies are stinking adorable, in my personal opinion. So you don’t want to miss out on those. (Plus, you get an extra poem that’s not in the book with the pre-order goodies!)
Again, thank you guys so much for being here through thick and thin. I definitely wouldn’t be here without my little blog that started out as Crazy A. 😉
When we look at ourselves, we see so many flaws. Too thin, too large, too many bones, too many stretch marks, too morbid, too happy, too giggly, too quiet, too flirty, too standoffish, too nerdy, too stupid, too opinionated, too indecisive . . . the list continues to build as you stare at yourself, trying to figure out what to fix.
If you struggle with an illness, mental or physical, the list seems longer. Too tired, too sad, too confused, in too much pain, too broken.
It’s overwhelming to choose just one thing to fix, to choose one thing to be thankful for because there are so many things that needs to change. How do we change ourselves and at the same time, be grateful for who we are?
Understand your Strengths
I’m sure most of us struggle with this. I don’t see myself as gifted, or unusual, or strong in any way. It’s hard for me to see any quality inside myself as a strength, especially when you realize that the thing you were probably rebuked about the most as a child can be your greatest strength.
I was a stubborn kid. Like, really really stubborn. When I was five, my mom and I would argue for half an hour over my outfit, and the argument usually ended with my mom backing down. (Since then, my mom has learned to let her daughters explore fashion and figure out who they are by themselves. She says you got to pick your battles, and outfits aren’t worth the battle.) If I decide to do something, I’m going to do it, come what may. But it goes the opposite way, too. If I decide I’m not doing something, I’m not doing it. (Which still at times can get me in trouble.)
We all have strengths that can be translated into annoying or troublesome facts about yourself. For instance, I’m also really distractible. Conversations aren’t my forte, because I’m going five million places in five minutes, and I’ve already found the answer to my question and moved on to a totally different topic by the time you’ve caught up with me. Some people would find this annoying, and at times it really is. I have to work twice as hard to learn from a teacher or to listen to podcasts or sermons. But it’s also a strength because I’m able to more in a day than most people, and I’m positive it helps me with my creative and random ideas.
Identify what you want to become.
We can identify bad habits and weaknesses all day long, tearing us down until we don’t want to do anything because we’re such terrible people. How can we become anyone or anything? But instead of identifying bad habits, we need to identify the person we want to become.
What do I mean by that? It’s easy to list reasons why we can’t become who we want to become, easy to say that we are us, and that’s it. But if we want to become more like Christ, if we want to become a healthy person, if we want to be an actor, a writer, a musician, a dancer, an author, fill in the blank, we need to identify that, and act on it. Once we know, “I want to be a mentally stable person.” Or “I want to be more like Christ,” we can figure out what to fix.
The steps to becoming something or someone is slow and steady work, but it’s not impossible.
Create a path, and don’t give up.
I love lists. Lists, lists, and more lists. I have notebooks full of lists, I have lists on my computer, I have lists beside my bed. When I journal, I journal in lists. Why do I love lists so much? Because for my brain, they don’t overwhelm me. I can take all my fears, all that I know and everything that’s floating around in my head, and spit it out in a list.
A list helps me take baby steps to success and quenches the overwhelming thoughts and anxiety that keep me from taking action. But the hardest thing is sticking to the list. Because it gets boring, and missing one day can’t hurt, can it? And then you miss two days and you get discouraged, wondering if you should continue working on this.
Don’t give up. Maybe you’ll end up taking a week off. Just start back where you started, and continue working towards your final goal. Lists are there to stay, and keep you on track, even if you fall behind schedule, or struggle to stay on track.
EDIT: The new WordPress design is not being very friendly for me at the moment, and so you’re blessed with an early post. 😂
Whether your friend or loved one has depression, anxiety, or some other long-term mental illness, there is so much going on in their brain that they want to say to you, but find impossible to say. So many emotions are buried beneath the surface, so much they wish you could know. But when you’re in the middle of these emotions, it’s so hard to tell the people who love you about what’s going on your mind.
Being vulnerable hurts and takes time, especially when you’re confused, hurting, or numb to the world around you. So here are seven things that people who battle with mental illness and mental health would like you to know.
DISCLAIMER: Not everyone with a mental illness will relate with these. I am not a psychiatrist, or have any degree in psychology.
We really don’t know.
We have so many emotions or such a lack of emotion, so we aren’t lying when we say we don’t know. Our rational mind has no excuse or reason for what we’ve done or the way we feel. We wish we could give you a concrete answer, we wish we knew how you could help, how we could help ourselves. We’re afraid to explore our emotions or to poke our dead mind back to life. We’re afraid you won’t believe us or understand. So we just don’t know, and we don’t try to know.
So afraid. We’re afraid of ourselves, of failing, of giving in, of giving up, of failing you, of hurting others. We are afraid of waking up and we’re afraid of falling asleep. We’re afraid of letting people see what we’re really like. We’re afraid of how we’ll react to situations that normal people are fine with. We’re afraid that we’ll never get better, that medicine won’t help, that we’ll end up weighing you down. We’re afraid of everything that happens in our mind, and we don’t want it to translate over into our life. At the end of the day, we are afraid.
You might not like our reactions or seeing us struggle, but think how painful it is to be the one struggling with it yourself. We hate it as much or more than you do and we’re trying so hard. Every day we’re waking up and trying. Some days, it’s more fruitful and we are able to function like you. Other days? Celebrate that we’re out of bed. Celebrate that we’re talking. Be thankful we’re smiling. Because God knows we’re trying.
We try, we take our medicine, if we have some. Or we just sit there, to be with you, when all we want is solitude, all we want is sleep, all we want is to pace around the room and try to quiet our mind as it frantically thinks. But instead, we’re with you. We’re trying, and we’ll keep trying.
Not only is insomnia one of the most common symptoms of mental illness, fighting your mind and emotions, keeping everything bottled and neatly packed away takes so much energy. But we aren’t only sleep tired. We’re tired of feeling, of not sleeping, or if we’re hyposomniac, we’re tired of sleeping, we’re tired of living like this, tired of being needy, tired of trying to smile, tired of not being believed, tired of feeling guilty.
We’re tired of not being normal, we’re tired of trying to fix ourselves, we’re tired of eating, of feeling, of breathing. We’re tired of hearing our heart thunder in our ears, tired of our breath coming in heaves, tired of a mind that won’t give us relief.
We don’t remember.
When we say we don’t know or we don’t remember, we truly don’t know or can’t remember. It might be something as serious as forgetting what we did at a party, or as simple as not remembering the first half of the day. We don’t remember. And we hate the fact that a part of our life has been swallowed up and dissolved by our minds. We’re sorry that we don’t remember the awesome time we had, or we don’t remember when we first met, or that we don’t remember being hurt or being yelled at. We just don’t remember.
We’re sorry we don’t remember saying something, we’re sorry we don’t remember hurting you. We’re sorry that we can’t answer your questions at the moment, we can’t do our school work at the moment, and we’re sorry we missed another meeting. Someday, we’ll remember it all again.
It physically hurts.
Our head throbs with our heartbeat, our muscles are so tight you could strum them like a musical instrument. Our chest feels like it’s being crushed, our arms and legs weigh a hundred pounds. We’re nauseous way too often. Food is disgusting or we eat way too much. When we say we have a headache and skip dinner, we really have a headache. Every sound, every sense, the air even has a taste. It’s all intensified to such an extent that if we don’t hide, it’ll cause us to explode.
How can we tell you that we’re dying inside? How can we explain emotions when we’re not even sure about? How do we know if this is what normal people feel like, or if it’s something wrong with us? So we’re okay. Because we choose to press it all down, to hide it for you. Because we don’t want to be that morbid person, we don’t want to weigh you down. We don’t want to hurt you or wear you out. So we’re okay. Because we love you. And we want to be okay.
Thoughts have been swirling in me, and I’m just going to let them out. Will I delete half of this post? Probably. Will it matter? Definitely not.
People are important. How can I stress this enough? From my brainstorm partner that brightens my day with her smile, to my friend that pokes fun at me for not having a “guy” but still genuinely cares about me, to the one that I call to have a heart to heart for two hours.
And the people that have burned me. The ones that have caused my eyes to overflow, and stream pain down my cheeks. Those people, they’re important, too.
At one point in my life, I thought I was too broken to heal, too heartless to love, and too hurt to feel. So I pushed everyone away. Those who cared and those who spoke heartless platitudes alike.
Hating humans, blaming them for the pain I felt, and hurting people like they hurt me. Because that’s the only fair way to respond to the pain of life, right? The stronger you are, the heavier your hand, the drier your eyes, the better you are at handling pain.
But that isn’t true.
People help you through pain, they help the wounds heal, help your mind to dwell on things that matter.
This topic is so important to me, because my people are important to me. They make life so much more livable, each adding a different shade of sunshine. And when one tells me that they worry about me, it makes me want to cry. Because it means they care.
Underneath all of our sarcastic banter, underneath me avoiding them for a month, underneath our business, each of us have a heart that needs love. Sure, love stinks sometimes, but it’s so worth it. When you find someone who actually cares, when you finally see that even through the pain, love sets you free.
Let people in. Let people see the you that you’ve hidden underneath layers. Stop trying to be lovable, because when you stop holding up a picture perfect facade, you’ll finally feel free. No longer sweating underneath the layer, you can be you.
And people will love you.
At first it may seem as if no one cares about who you are. But after awhile, God will bring people in your life that care. That want you to live this life to your fullest potential while serving Him.
Please don’t let those who have hurt you, or the circumstances that have torn you ruin the rest of your life. Don’t let them ruin your memories either. There’s always a gem of a good memory, even in the bad.
So take that gem and shine the light on it. It’ll certainly sparkle back.
P.S. As my readers, what are some topics you would like to see me write about, talk about, discuss on this blog? I’d love some ideas. 🙂
The people on the streets cry, “Freedom, freedom!”
People in their homes wish for freedom, freedom.
The veterans look at their sons and say they fought for freedom, freedom.
But when they ask for freedom, they don’t know what they mean.
The French obtained freedom with their Revolution. And what was the end cost?
Freedom from government will bring nothing but anarchy, bloodshed, tears, and more repressive governments. Freedom is not what we need, freedom is not what we desire. Freedom was not what we were promised by our founding fathers.
We were promised in the Declaration of Independence the right to pursue “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Freedom is each man on his own, but liberty. Liberty is freedom of a government that creates tyrannical rules.
Liberty is what is threatened. When we are all free, free from rules, from responsibility, from consequences, no one is really free. We are enslaved to others, we are the slaves of those around us. We are slaves of ourselves.
For we always serve a master.
For some, that master is money, some serve themselves, some serve the government, some serve food, other serve Christ. And when you serve Christ with all that is in you, you are free, and you can truly understand liberty.
You can understand that absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is why anarchy leads to dictatorship. If each man is in control and able to make his own rules, does he have absolute power? Does it corrupt a man to be free, totally and absolutely free from all standards, rules, morals, and obligations?
Americans need to stop fighting for freedom. Instead, they need to take a moment and step back. They need to understand why our founding fathers appreciated liberty. Why men and women risked all to leave their countries to create a new one. Why we are sitting today in a “civilized” and “free” country.
Why would Patrick Henry stand and famously say, “Give me liberty, or give me death?”
Why do we now stand and say, “Give us freedom, or we’ll give you your death?”
Will we never understand that government is not the one that creates evil? Will we never understand that the evil was created way before governments, before civilization, back when Eve disobeyed and brought grief to mankind? Our hearts long for peace, and we’re promised peace with freedom.
But true peace only comes from righteous rules. Rules that protect us from harming other citizens. Rules that protect other citizens from harming us. Rules that are created by a government that is checked and balanced, unable to grow, unable to steal, unable to infringe upon our God given rights.
So will we fight for liberty?
Or will we continue to stand in the streets and cry for freedom?
In Joshua, Joshua tells the people that they must decide for themselves. They must decide whether they will serve the Lord, whether they will stand for the God who has protected them through the wilderness. But as for Joshua? Well, he has already decided.
You must decide what you want for yourself. What you want for your children. What you want for the future of our country.
But as for me?
I stand with Patrick Henry and say,
“Give me liberty or give me death. I will settle for nothing less.”