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Friday, January 2, 2015

2014

      It's funny how the start to a new year and the end to an old one can affect people and bring out an array of emotions. The last two months have been a roller coaster for me, mentally and emotionally. I've been really negative towards everything, and constantly overwhelmed. So when New Year's was rolling around, I didn't blink an eye. I closed at work and made it home with 15 minutes til the ball dropped. I spent the evening mad about some lady who complained at work that I will probably never see again. And then I get home, and my family drank all the crappy champaign. Lately it seems like every little moment can make or break me. It's something I've been trying to work through with little avail. So amidst my cranky cynicism for everyone saying "new year, new me" I made a last minute Flipgram for Instagram. Flipgram is an app that lets you make a slideshow of pictures. I made one last year, and since I have some crazy idea that people actually care about what I do on social media, I couldn't let my fans down! I watched it and realized something. I'm a miserable, spoiled brat. 2014 was absolutely the best year of my life. How could I forget so many amazing memories and wonderful times with friends? I'm also incredibly selfish, even if I don't mean to be.. I've brought people down in the last two months with my insane negativity and over stressing of everything in my life. Especially when things don't go my way. I didn't realize just how much gravity exists around each and every one of us. Anyone who cares about you will get sucked down when the gravity you have is negative. I wasted the last two months of 2014 being petty and angry. I was upset more than I was happy lately. I can only imagine the potential for being awesome that those days could have had. I mean, the rest of the year was pretty amazing. It sucks because I can never get that time back.
      I was talking to a friend tonight about my anxiety and what all has been going on. Tonight I was trying to pin point exactly when it all started and find the cause. My thought process was that if I could find the source, I could fix it and make things good as new. I asked a couple different people when they thought all this started. I got a mix of answers. I started beat myself up because maybe I was worse off than what I had thought. But one answer stood out the most. "But sometimes there's not just one source. Sometimes it's a pile on of things combined. Like hormones mixed with job change/school/etc. It may be multiple things that you're treating, not just one compilation... There's always grey. There's no one symptom checker for those kinds of issues. All may be correlations, but none a definite answer." At this point I realized even more just how big of a year I've had. Someone I never thought I would see again came back into my life out of the blue and became one of my absolute best friends. I started clinical at hospitals and I didn't kill anyone. I survived my only summer semester of college, which was also the hardest semester in the program. I left my job of four years, the only one I had ever known, for a brand new job with no idea what I was walking into. I passed my first practice board. I wrecked my car for the first time. I got a house. I made it to the last semester of respiratory. My photography continued to surprise me and opened doors I never expected. If you had asked me this time last year what I thought this year would hold, I wouldn't have imagined half of it. It's been a full year, filled with emotions. I know the last two months or so have really sucked for me as a person. As in, I suck as a person. But despite all that, looking back on 2014 I changed a lot as a person. I grew up some. I learned to speak for myself. Well. Somewhat. That's still a work in progress. But despite all the bad, I wouldn't change a lot about this past year. The only thing I would change would be to not waste the time I had being angry.
    With 2015 already starting, as I type this I have 4 months 1 week and 10 hours until graduation. It's crazy to think that 2015 has potential to be even greater and bigger than 2014 was. It's overwhelming and scary, but I had absolutely amazing friends that got me through 2014. Words can describe the gratitude I have for them and all they have to deal with me. They helped make my 2014, and I can't wait to see where 2015 takes us.

      I included the link to the Flipgram I made below since my Mac refused to embed the video. But yeah. It's been a pretty fantastic year. :)


Thursday, December 4, 2014

How My View On Love Changed In A Week.

      It's been a long time since I've written a blog. Actually, I've written a few, but never finished or published them. So many things have changed in my life in the last year or so. It's been crazy, heart breaking, and amazing all at once. I've learned more about myself in the last few years than I ever have. I was actually about to write this blog earlier tonight, and wound up with one of my best friend's house, tearing up about life. It was much needed and cleared my head and gave me better judgement about all of the things going on in my life. So without further ado, here is what's been going on lately.
      1. Like I said, I've learned so much about myself. I've learned just how far I can go emotionally and just how much I can love and care. I've always been rather cynical towards various things. Love is one of them. I've learned what I want and don't want in a relationship of any kind. I've learned how to speak up for myself. (That's still a work in progress.) I've learned to consider someone else's feelings and the consequences of not doing that. I would love to see life play out like I want it to. I have no idea what will come in the next months and years. Because this year has made me happier than any other. But if things go another direction, that's fine as well because I've learned life lessons that I will keep the rest of my life. In January, I was content with living alone the rest of my life. And since shortly after that, I've been at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. My heart has raced and skipped beats, and it's also dropped into the pit of my stomach. But I discovered that I was capable of those emotions, when I thought I never was. That alone is exciting.
      2. Due to recent events I did something super smart. I made an online dating account. LOL. I was confused and upset. Also, I've had friends that have told me for a long time that I needed to expand my circle and meet new people. I'm trying to justify it, but it was still a dumb white girl decision. I'm not sure if words can really describe how awful this week long social experiment has been. I shut it down today after a week. It's so unpersonal. It's literally "swiping" through to find the lesser evil of the people and decide who you want to spend the rest of your life with. It's also insanely desperate. Not a dig on anyone who reads this and does practice online dating. But honestly, the first few days was like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!" I was fresh meat more or less. I gave my number to two guys who seemed cool. One I'm already not talking to anymore, and the other still continues to casually blow up my phone. Even on the app, if you didn't reply, the guys would continue to message you repeatedly. When I was 19ish, I loved this app and all the attention I got from it. I loved that every guy would tell me how pretty I was. I was starving for attention. But now? I'm 22 and I graduate in 5 months with an awesome future. Everyone longs for human interaction and comfort. I get that. But I can't imagine being 30 and messaging every new profile that pops up because you're still on the hunt for that "special someone." This week has greatly reminded me who I am and how really happy I actually am. You have to be happy and love yourself before you can take on life with another person. I needed a refresh to remind me how happy I am being by myself. I'm pretty dang awesome.
      3. The last part of this came from a heart-to-heart last night. I sat on a couch and watched one of my best friends tear up at the fact that he is so in love that it physically hurts him. The thought of doing something to ever lose this girl breaks him into pieces. I've been friends with this guy for years and I love him dearly. But I've never seen a girl have this kind of hold on him. I've watched him date a lot of girls, but I've never seen him willing to give up absolutely anything for anyone. It blew my mind. I've heard this guy swear off marriage, but now he's found someone that he already knows he absolutely cannot live without. She is his other half. She makes him strive daily to be a better person. He constantly is trying to find ways to show her that he loves her. Isn't that what we all deserve? Someone who makes you no longer want to have "YOUR" future but instead it becomes "OUR" future? Someone who knows that they never want to live without you. Someone who would fight and do anything to keep you. It was beautiful. Because he's found the one that completes him entirely. There's a quote from the book Perks of Being a Wallflower that says "We accept the love we think we deserve." I know that I am too guilty of this at times. I stay and try to build a future on things there never was a foundation on. I try to fix things that are broken. I've always been that person. I sell myself short and accept what I think I deserve. Instead of waiting until I meet someone who thinks that I hung the moon. Someone who can't live without me. So the lesson to take from all this: Know your worth and love yourself. It makes you a better person in the end. :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

21 Things I Learned By 21.


1. You still won't have it all figured out no matter how old you get. 
2. No one can give or take away your self worth. You control it. And the quicker you accept that, the happier you will be.
3. You are going to have choices you regret making, and choices you regret not making.
4. Trial and error and your choices build who you are. You would not be who you are today without choice you have made.
5. You will become a happier person when you embrace the person you have become. (then you can change if you want.)
6. Don't fully believe a drunk person. Just don't.
7. Know your limits and learn to say "no".
8. You don't have to please anyone but yourself.
9. Find the few true friends you hand stick with them.
10. Some people may walk out of your life, you can't control it if they do. Go ahead and accept the apology you never got. Or you will be carrying that hurt for years.
11. Being alone can be one of the happiest and most peaceful times.
12. Real happiness does exist, when your soul is completely at peace I believe that is it. Don't settle for less than true happiness.
13. Make your choices for you.
14. There is always a bigger picture. Even when you don't see it.
15. Speak your feelings and your mind. Don't bottle them up.
16. If you want to better yourself, go out and do it. Complaining solves nothing.
17. The past is the past. Dead and gone. But every mistake can be used as a lesson.
18. Love and lust are not the same thing. Not even close.
19. It doesn't matter how other people see you, it's between you and God.
20. You probably won't be where you expected a year from now.
21. Keep the things that make you feel alive and happy, closest to you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer 2013

      I was at dinner talking about blogs with friends and I said I haven't blogged all Summer, now here I am at almost 3am completely captivated by God and His love and this AMAZING spiritual peace I have. There's a reason I haven't blogged all Summer. The last thing I said was how I wanted a "summer romance" and I wanted to go chasing after things I didn't need. But I said that I wouldn't do something rash and impulsive and that God had much better things planned for me. I did everything I said I wouldn't. One of the reasons I didn't blog was that I wasn't in favor with God. And I knew it. I've always had a problem surrendering to the wrong things. Sometimes it was because I felt I "had" to or because I thought it would fill a void. Rash, Earthly, and physical impulses fill those voids, and quite honestly they felt great for a little while. But when it fades away, you are emptier than when you began. I got myself involved in places and situations I shouldn't have been. I knew how things would turn out, but I just wanted to make those impulsive choices SOOOOO bad.
      Now I'm not saying I went on a bank robbing, drug-snorting, sex-having spree this Summer. None of those things happened. But I did trade out God's amazing love for "love" I was trying to get from people who had no intention of giving it to me. Ladies, (And guys) if the person you are pursuing isn't insanely on fire for God and driving you to dive deeper in your walk, then you don't need to get snuggly and close with them. You can't change them. Period. I've been that girl so many times thinking that I can be that good influence and I can help them turn their lives around. What really happens? I compromise and surrender my beliefs and standards to be with them. So Summer 2013 I was not bettering myself and my relationship with God, because I wanted to spend time with who I wanted, I wanted to kiss who I wanted, and I wanted to try my hardest to make certain people fall for me. (Which didn't work AT ALL.) In the sermon tonight our pastor Matt was preaching from 1 John 4 and talking about how God is love and that's why He have unconditional love for us. He said that real love and God's love is experienced by surrendering. But if you surrender to the wrong things, then you allow yourself to be placed in bondage. Which is exactly what was happening. And exactly what I came out of about 10 months ago. (Not the same struggle,) And I never want to allow something to control me again. I was sick and miserable before. I've blogged about it before. I don't owe anyone anything. I don't have to surrender anything to anyone. Especially if it's something that dampens God's light and causes me to move farther away from the person God wants me to be.
      Now I do not have it all together at all. I never want anyone to think I do. I'm a lukewarm train wreck of a christian. But tonight, God re-lit the fire in my heart and set my soul at peace because I let Him. I am just so incredibly in awe. God's love has NOTHING to do with who we are or what we do. It is ENTIRELY based on Him because He is love. That's something that I have always grown up in church hearing, but right now it has such a heavy meaning. I don't feel like I deserve this love at all. I feel like the prodigal son. I only deserve to be hired help for my father, yet I am welcomed with open arms. No love on Earth will EVER match that. And don't get me wrong, Christianity isn't a bed of roses. It's an up hill battle for me right now as I try to realign my life with God and get back on track. I've been praying since last week for God to help me get back where I need and not to do all the things I shouldn't. But this week, I started praying for God to make me hate how I was living and the things I was doing. Because honestly, part of me doesn't want to stop. I've gotten hurt emotionally on and off for weeks, (all my doing for putting myself in those situations) But I am human. We love what makes us happy and the time, even if it isn't the best thing for us. So I am having to pray multiple times a day for God to help me shut those doors and to hate everything associated with those doors in order to help me walk away and get back to who I need to be. This is going to be a daily thing and I know I have to work at it. But when you are in love with God, it isn't work anymore. I know God has SOOOO much more planned for me. I mean I got accepted to Respiratory Therapy. And that was God's plan. I know we're going to do big things together. So I just wanted to share my incredible peace and happiness tonight. I have not felt this relaxed and at peace all Summer. And it's all because God and He is reworking and re-lighting my heart on fire. I have a hunger and a thirst again that's been missing for months. I am so incredibly thankful that Jesus still loves me and wants to use me. I know God will use my whole story for His glory and that He has this amazing plan for my life. Pray with me for purity and the fire to stay strong. Love you all! Casey.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fall In Like.

      This is one of those blogs that supports my "Show all your emotions on social media" theory. I don't have a perfect life or have it all together. Right now I'm in a mood where I want to play darts with knives or go get a big tattoo. Which you should NEVER make rash decisions when in a bad mood! I'm in this weird place in my life. I'm finally at a place in my life where sometimes I think I want to date someone. When I say that, I really mean I want to "Fall in Like" with someone and have all the good feels. I'm not holding a big sign saying "Single! Lonely! I'll date anyone!!" I am still content. But there's a few guys that I am kinda like, "I could see myself with them maybe dating. That would be fun." And the day dreaming commences! Really it's Fall Out Boy's fault. (Yes I am a fan of their new cd and no it's not a Jesus cd. Hate on it.) They have a song called Young Volcanos (I'll post a link) that for whatever reason, makes me want to fall in like. I'm a sucker for catchy beats. lol.
      Now when I say fall in "like", let me explain. I had a teacher who told our class this in middle school. When you get your new boyfriend or girlfriend you're like "OHMAYGOSH I just LOVE them!" but you really don't. Heck, I've seen college students do that. But what you really are is in "LIKE." You like that person, you want to spend time with that person, etc. But you are not to a point where you reallllly LOVE that person.. And some people date just for that feeling ^. That's where I am. My heart, mind, whatever has decided that I neeeeeed a Summer romance. This isn't Grease tho.. None of the outcomes work. I mean these few guys are not people I could ever see myself marrying. Some are friends that I love dearly and respect, but they aren't who I am supposed to marry. I know that. But my heart/brain/whatever is like "Shhhh... Let's watch the adventure montage I made of the two of you this Summer again." And yes the montage is complete with hipster glasses and all. (In case you wondered.)
      So what I'm trying to say is, do what YOU know is right. No matter how bad your brain/heart/whatever says you need it. Don't jump into something only because you want a feeling. Everyone has those lonely nights and moments. That's why I'm sharing, in case someone needed to know they weren't alone in feeling like this. It's pointless for me to take on these "relationships" or try to make one happen. I know I'm not going to marry these guys. (Unless the universe take a severe turn later on lol.) It would be great and filled with happiness and it could be fun in the now. But when it's over? It's only gonna cause drama and possibly ruin the friendship I have now. So I may not have that "summer lovin," But I am happy in me and being single. It took a LONG time and a lot of crazy events to get here, but that's where I am. Sometimes I wish it was a little different, but then I get over it and say "Meh." My life is awesome. Don't fall for the trap of falling in like. Love who you are. Don't accept less than you deserve. YOU are AWESOME! :)


ps. there is one not so nice word in this. 1:28. sorry.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Conviction.

      Who here likes confrontation and the sinking feeling you get when you messed up? Anyone? No? Ok, me either. I'm a total baby about it. I'll do almost anything to avoid dealing with confrontation, and that is a reason for past sin in my life. It was easier to sin than make things awkward or say no and risk "hurting someone's feelings." Geezz.. how old are we? 4? But so you can see that I HATE conviction from God in the sense of I feel guilty. I don't like how it makes me feel. I guess a lot of that goes along with the fact that with the way society works, we fail God and it seems like everyone else around us has it all together. So we feel worse and bottle it up so that no one else knows. (That's why we have a problem with accountability and LACK of in the church today..) BUT that is a different rant all together.
      Conviction is good tho if you take it in and make a change. Lately I felt like I was stuck and even back sliding a little in my life. I literally have been feeling a tug of war in my soul. Almost like I can look ahead and see this AMAZING and bright outlook for my life. I can't see what all is in it, but I can feel this amazing peace thinking about it. And then looking behind me, I see this enormous black, dark cloud coming in behind me faster and faster. That black cloud is the toxic past I was stuck in and all my old habits. Just thinking about it makes me feel depressed, weighed down, burdened. In my relationship with God I think that whenever I learn a powerful lesson, He gives me a chance to prove it shortly after. Call me crazy, but it happens like clockwork every time.  (Also makes me want to read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis again. Letters from older demon to younger one on how to break humans. Such a good read.) Anyways, the lessons have been a powerful thing in my life. Don't get me wrong, I've failed like 85% of them.. But I'm growing in God and moving on into this better person. It's a process. Veryveryveryveryvery few people quit smoking cold turkey and actually stick to it. Being a Christian isn't about a one time encounter with God and being forever changed. Yes, you will be forever changed, but it is a daily thing. It is a relationship. It should be every minute of every hour living your life to serve God's will the best you can. And I'm not on some high horse like, "Yeah guys, get it together and serve.." That's what we are called to do. And I am still so far away from that myself. But it should be a relationship. One that shows how humbled and at a loss for words at the grace and mercy God showed for me by sending Jesus. I do not deserve anything from God. And yet, He gave me everything.
      So these convictions, it's like God's way of keeping me on track. I've had several "tests" lately, and by "tests" I mean chances to screw up. Chances to go back to the old me. And the tug of war inside me has been insanely strong. But God is putting a bitter taste in my mouth for the old me. Quite frankly, God has been working on putting a bitter taste in my mouth for anything that doesn't bring Him glory. I've felt convicted about not spending enough time with God. I opened Crazy Love where some notes I had stuck in fell out, and the paragraph was saying don't lie to God and tell him how important He is to you. Tell Him the truth that you want Him to be the most important thing, but BLANK took His place. Tell him that you fail him and you know it, etc. I was blown away. It stuck the words right in my mouth. While having this whole Jesus moment, I posted a lyric "Your love overcame the grave, surely it will break every chain." on my facebook as well as the video for "Break Every Chain." And then I remembered that I had sent someone a joke in a Facebook message like two hours before that basically counteracted what I was just posting. I was insanely convicted. Having a relationship with Jesus really does mean every single aspect of your life being completely sold out to Jesus and His cause. I've definitely been convicted this week on things I need to change.
      Sometimes it is honestly still hard to make the right choices when faced with these tests. The old Casey is really stubborn. But I keep seeing that light in front of me. I see the bright future, even though I can't see into it and what all it holds for me I know that trusting God will pay off. I heard a sermon on that recently. God doesn't promise us anything specific, but promises us a "gift/reward/etc" for trusting Him. Honestly we may not even see that "gift" in our lifetime. It's like Let's Make A Deal. We can have a Brand New Lawnmower! Or we can blindly pick door #3 even though we have no idea what's inside. The lawnmower might seem pretty awesome, but honestly there is a chance it won't compare to what is behind door #3. But God PROMISES us that what He has for us is BETTER than the "lawnmower" we are chasing after in our life. I can tell you this, it gets easier some when you trust God. Being a christian really isn't easy. Life becomes spiritual warefare. BUT it gets easier when you trust in God.  IT's so easy for me to say no to certain things now because God's helped me grow with Him and away from negative things. I am so thankful for convictions and God wanting to build me into a better person.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Alone.

      I have an irrational fear of being alone. This is one of those honest blogs that shows that not every minute of every day is ok. Which I think we all need to see. In my past I would hold on to things for fear of being alone. I did a lot of things for attention. I could not even be interested in someone, but wanted to know that when I "needed" them, they would still be there. By doing this, I allowed myself into various situations that I didn't need or want to be in, but my fear of being alone always trumped what was best for Casey. I used people solely for attention because the void in my soul was so deep and only growing deeper. I was an attention whore. The "cry yourself to sleep" kind if she didn't have someone who thought she was awesome to talk to. Seriously. I've blogged about my past, but I was messed up emotionally. I was controlled and owned. I thank God all the time for saving me from that pit, because I never would have made it out alone.
      Recently, I was reminded of who I once was. I got to see first hand how I used to act, and it made me want to absolutely throw up. I had forgotten just how bad it was. I'm a photographer, and sometimes photographers will use Photoshop to touch things up. As humans, we constantly want to touch things up that are not pretty. I had forgotten just how ugly my old life was. I had "smoothed it over" in my mind to a much milder picture. I was overwhelmed, ashamed, embarrassed, etc. It made me long for my "Breakeven" tattoo even more, reminding me how much I had changed. (See Breakeven blog.) But later when it was determined that this small piece in my story wouldn't come up anymore, I felt a familiar feeling come over me. A feeling that didn't want things to end. I didn't ever want to go back to that person I was or have anything to do with that, but I didn't like the fact of knowing that it was forever over and if I decided to go back to that one day (which I never would) that option would never be there. How messed up is that? It's like this: I HATE cherries. Don't ever want to eat them. But if someone told me I would never be able to try a cherry ever again, I would be upset. What if they grew on me? Humans are such amazing creatures. I mean, we were made in God's image, but we are SO STUPID. It's such a beautiful thing with God, that He gives us free will. It makes the love story that much stronger. But the fact that we chase what is completely bad for us and we try to think that we know better than God.. Geez Louise.. But I am constantly guilty. This season in my life is the first time that I have ever listened to God this much, and that's not saying that much because it takes an incredible effort and I still fail 70+% of the time. Most of that time I am too busy or selfish and I make my own judgements. We all know how well that has worked out. (See other blogs lol)
      It's like the sermon from this week at my church. 1 Kings 19:1-15. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah had just kicked some major butt with God. In chapter 19, a woman named Jezebel sends a note to Elijah saying she will kill him the way that he killed the prophets. So what does Elijah do? He flees. After he had this amazing battle with God on his side, he forgets all of that and runs away. My pastor Matt said this, "Sometimes the reservoirs of yesterday's victories are not enough for today's challenges." That's super true and that's been heavy on my heart all day. I can have this awesome victory in God and be feeling so on fire, and then 30 minutes later I can be in tears about something that doesn't matter. And I feel like all the "Jesus" I had is gone. When I was feeling alone and like I needed to hold on to things to fill voids, I felt like this. But can I tell you something? The most alone I've ever felt is when I was outside God's will. Yep. Just writing this blog and talking God has completely cheered me up. I have been reminded how much I need God and how far we have come from the pit I used to reside in. I don't ever want to be that person again. I want to live a full life with God bringing glory for His name. Boom. The rest of the message talks about how after we run away, we try to find things to fill the void. (Check. Been there, done that.) And maybe we are missing the point because we are not going at God's pace. And when we are at His pace, even the wrong places can become the right ones for our lives. Boom. Double truth! Who sets the pace for your life?
      So. I felt pretty down about how I was feeling earlier. I felt like I had back slid about 3 years. I got a glimpse of what would happen if I allowed myself to become the old me again. Once thing I've realized is that I am not going the right pace. And I can tell you that I definitely need to slow down. Earlier today I asked God to show me something, and I think He did. He reminded me just how vulnerable I am on my own. Some people think I have it together, but I'm just like every one else. I am a sinner who still struggles with a lot of issues, but I have been blessed by the grace of God. I'm gonna have days where I feel alone, but once that feeling passes I can get back on track and pace with what God wants for my life. Anything He wants is far better than we could ever imagine. I have never felt so free.