What Matters Most?

For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?

Mark 16:26

Lately, it seems we’ve all become obsessed with money and success. It’s almost as if we’re all in this race to see who can acquire the most things, yet these very things that we pursue are things that are perishable; things that we cannot carry beyond the grave. What then does it really profit a man to lose his soul and gain the world?

Happy Sabbath, friends. Just wanted to share this thought with you today.

Love, D.

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That Time I Went On A Diet

As far as I can remember, I have always been on the plump side. Consequently, throughout my entire life, many people, whether their advice were solicited or unsolicited, have opted to share their opinions about my weight.


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I still remember the day that I’d plopped myself onto my deceased grandmother’s couch without giving it much thought, only to be questioned by my uncle, who had been teasing me just about all summer about my weight. “Are you trying to break the couch?” he asked jokingly. I certainly didn’t find it the least bit funny.

Despite a few bad experiences, I couldn’t exactly tell where I stood in the eyes of others. Some people told me I was fine. Others told me that I could lose a little weight. Regardless of how conflicting everyone’s views were, I only did what I knew how to do best. I sucked up any negative comment that came my way, and I believed it.

Me, age 17

The more conscious I felt about my weight, the more complicated my relationship with food became. One minute I had eaten too little, the next I had eaten too much. My weird eating habits, I believe, had begun only after I decided to become a pescetarian. Soon after making that decision, I’d begun counting calories and frequently weighing myself. To keep my sanity, I eventually had to throw out the scale. But while my poor eating habits only lasted a short time, the thoughts which fueled them in the first place lingered long after.

At around age 16 or 17, I realized that I couldn’t continue living this way. Caring about what everyone else thought was simply too tiring, and my own negativity was getting to me. It was only by stepping back for a while and looking at things objectively that I’d begun to realize that it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought of me, or even what I thought for that matter. Regardless of what anyone said or did, the fact remained: I was no better or worse than anyone else.


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Now at 19, a lot has changed, not just in my life, but in society as a whole. I’m sure by now many woman have heard the saying, “Real women have curves.” It’s a saying that is meant to empower girls like me, but also, in my view, promotes the idea that a woman’s body shape somehow determines her “realness.” Considering the fact that woman come in all different shapes and sizes, it can be quite problematic to think that only woman who look a certain way can be considered “real.”

Personally, I think it’s high time we just stop trying to live up to a standard and start focusing more on being healthy (and this goes for both men and women). Whether that means being a little on the thicker side or on the thinner side, it shouldn’t really matter.

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

Love, D.

 

 

How I’m Spending My Holidays

Tis the season to be jolly!

I’m sure we’ve all heard this, and I’m sure many of us could attest to it. 

After completing my first semester at university, I can honestly say that I have never been happier for the holidays. Getting work done on time was one thing. Trying to actually have a social life was a whole other thing.

You see, my favourite question that I’ve been asked thus far since starting university is, “Have you made any friends yet?” I almost always seem to respond with a yes, which technically isn’t a lie. Yes, I’ve made friends, but not nearly as much as my interrogator would expect. In fact, the amount of time I spend alone far outweighs the amount of time I spend around these “friends” I say I’ve made.

Now that the holidays are here, I can only sigh a sigh of relief. At least now I won’t have to obsess about people noticing my “abnormality,” or how terrible I am at making friends. But now that I have all the time in the world to be alone, I realize just how much I miss all the distraction that university life provided. If it did anything, it provided an escape from having to face the fact that beyond the times I manage to paint a pretty smile on my face, internally, I’m really struggling. 

Since the start of the holidays, I have succeeded in one thing. I have rekindled my faith, and once again, I am reminded of just how much time I spend worrying about things that don’t really matter and how much time I could be spending of the things that really do. As much as I love all the distractions that come with university life, I admit that sometimes, it can be so easy to get lost in them. 

This Christmas has been quite uneventful to say the least; at least, for people like me who are not exactly the partying kind. The long standing tradition of telling tales of Jesus’ birth through various TV programmes still stands, however. Unfortunately, it seems, not many seem to care as much.

Outside of some family time, I’ve mostly spent my holidays on my own, which is not surprising. It’s what happens every time Christmas comes around. The good thing about this, however, is that I am able to take a step back and really assess myself. What’s my assessment? Lately it seems I’ve been getting lost in the world, and it seems I constantly have to remind myself to “be in the world, but not of it.”

The whole concept of partying has never been too appealing to me, but sometimes, I desperately want to escape the silence. It is silence that brings out the worst in me; that unearths the very things I am too afraid to face, yet, because of my own disconnection with the people and the world around me, much of my life, I’ve been forced to live with it.

These days, it seems I only keep on asking myself, why can’t you just be like everyone else? But after so many years of wondering, I’m beginning to think that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be, and maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. The wonderful thing about it all is that there are others who feel just like me. 

Not until I started university would I realize just how much my faith would make me stand out. While I go to a Christian university, at times it feels that my idea of Christianity differs from everyone elses. Even while being in such an environment where almost everyone’s beliefs should seem to align with my own, there are many times I still feel lonely.

But the wonderful thing about it all is that, in being alone, I have found a great companion and a faith that is so complicated, yet so beautiful. There is comfort in knowing that though I may feel lost and lonely at times, I am never truly alone, and that is what I have to remind myself this holiday.

In fact, if there was anything I could change about this holiday, it would not be my loneliness. It would be the fact that I haven’t helped a single person out there who’s feeling lonely, hungry, ill or depressed; people who can’t seem to find the cheer this Christmas. I only ask of you, be kind to your neighbours this holiday season, because kindness is one of the greatest gifts one can receive. 

Feel free to let me know how your holidays are going.

Love, D.

Living With PTSD – A Confession

A few weeks ago, I met a young man who clearly he had taken some interest in me. I, however, being somewhat scatterbrained, didn’t think or take much notice of this. Weeks later, I find myself getting more attached to this man than I ever imagined I would. The best part? The feeling’s mutual. What more could a girl ask for? Finally I’d graduated from fleeting high school romances to something real; at least, so I thought.

Things were going pretty well between us I’d say, but I knew it would only be a matter of time before all my fears and doubts would enter the picture. One day I’ll tell myself to stop thinking so much; just let go for once. The next day I’ll be crawling back inside my shell, wondering where all my bravery had gone. I try my best to keep on going anyway, but when it feels as if you’ve got ten different people living in my head, all fighting to be in control, falling in love – or doing anything, really – seems next to impossible.

After all, who can stand it? I can barely stand my own brain, so why should anyone else? Thoughts like these run through my mind until I feel as if I’ve been completely sucked dry, and all my progress seems to sink down the drain. Then once again, I regress and push away the ones I love most.

Surely it gets tiring, doing the same old thing over and over again. I believe that’s what they call insanity. Well, I’m angry. I’ve had enough, and I want out, but all of this seems to be just a shout in the void because a mind can’t be fixed in the same way a physical wound can. When a mind is damaged, it takes years to be rebuilt, and many times I’ve tired out my own patience. Thanks to PTSD, this is what my life has become, and it is a thing I’d wish upon no one.

But thanks to PTSD, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be open and honest, no longer living in the fear of falling in love and getting hurt. I want to fall deeply in love with life again, and embrace all the pain that comes along with it. I want to show the world who I really am and what I am capable of. I want to love with every inch of my soul; not holding anything back and I refuse to let PTSD stop me.

For a long time, this illness, as well as the mountains of stress I seem to be carrying these days, has taken me away from my writing, which I love so dearly. But thanks to illness, I have come to realize that the only way for me to heal is to let go and love. Thanks to PTSD, I was able to meet this wonderful guy and feel things that I’ve never felt before, and even if it doesn’t last, I can at least say that thanks to PTSD, I’ve tried.

Though I may never truly understand why I have post-traumatic disorder, I can safely say that my life has changed in unimaginable ways, and even in all the madness, through much prayer, I am able to find peace. If anything, this illness has been a wake up call for me; a chance to ask, “When will you ever truly start living?” The answer? Not when I overcome my illness, but now.

To whoever is reading this, whoever this resonates with, I want you to know that your illness doesn’t define you; that you’ve got a world of beauty within you, just waiting to be explored. Don’t let the darkness of this world steal your light.

Love,

D.

To My Followers

Lately I’ve been a little disappointed with myself. These days it seem I can hardly find the time to write or blog. I keep telling myself that today is the day I’ll get something done, yet nothing ever comes out of it.

Really, I long to get back to writing. There are times when I miss it so much, I seem to catch a case of the blues. I guess it only goes to show that being creative is not just a hobby – it’s a necessity.

My blog has been inactive for quite some time now, and it’s been such a shame. To my followers, I thank you for choosing this blog and I hope that soon, I will be able to get back to blogging consistently.
Love,

D.

On A Rainy Day

 

There’s something about a dark, cloudy sky that gets me in the mood for a good cry.  These moments I often find a little strange; even a little poetic.

I only wish that I could find the words to capture all the wonderful things I’ve experienced exploring the world and all its mysteries in my wildly curious, overly imaginative mind. Often I find my words to be inadequate.

Happy Monday everyone •••

The Setting Sun

As I gaze upon the setting sun

My weary soul finds its rest


Happy Friday everyone! Remember to take time to relax and reflect. 

Quite a lot has been happening lately; so much that it seems I can hardly find time for myself. 

I must confess, I really miss taking the time to share my thoughts on this platform. I hope that soon, I will be able to get back to posting consistently. 

Until then, I pray that you all may find rest, even in the midst of your storms. 

Stay strong. Keep fighting.

Love,

Dainelle

A Month Without The Internet

In all the time I’ve spent blogging, never would I ever have thought that I would have to go without it for a whole month.

For the past few weeks, I’ve had to make use of my school’s WiFi. Otherwise, the occasional trip to my sister’s house would have to suffice. In all the chaos, having started university a few weeks ago and having an oh-so-convenient internet shortage, I could hardly find time for myself, let alone any time for blogging.

While the experience has been far from a pleasant one, in the end, I was able to learn something. In trying times, one must find time to reconnect with oneself, and, as in my case, one’s spiritual side.

For the past year, my blog has served as the place I go to dump all my thoughts; the good, the bad and the ugly. Novel writing, on the other hand, has long served as my escape from it all. Now that I’ve gone long enough without both, I realize just how much writing means to me.

Finally, yesterday, I sat myself down and started working on a chapter of my long-abandoned book draft after playing (not-so-eloquently) a short piece by the keyboard as a sort of starting point for catharsis. By the time I was done, I felt emptied, free and like myself again.

Now that I have found the time to write, all I can say is, how dull life would be without it. Music and literature have long become my refuge. Now I see just how valuable they are to me, and I am more than happy to return to blogging to share my thoughts with the world again because I know well the power words hold.

Special thanks to all my followers for the support. Please note that Human is now available on Amazon for free, now & forever.

See link: Human

The Writing Desk – Book Review

The Writing Desk tells two unique, but oddly connected tales – one of Tenley Roth, an award-winning author from modern-day New York, and one of Birdie Shehorn, a young woman from the Gilded Age who dreams of becoming a published author.

The story starts with Tenley, who gets a call from her estranged mother, Blanche, requesting she pay a visit. Leaving New York for Florida, Tenley is left to face her sick mother, the fast approaching deadline of her second book, and an unanswered proposal.

During her stay, she discovers a desk. Quickly she grows fond of it. This discovery marks the beginning of her journey to finding true love and spiritual awakening. Soon she meets Jonas Sullivan, a handsome furniture designer who had already purchased the desk, but after long protest, handed over the desk’s rights to her. With his help, in its drawer she finds Birdie Shehorn’s manuscript, and in Jonas’s company, she finds unexpected friendship.

As the two women’s stories intercept, Birdie’s strong character is revealed in her refusal to marry for money, but rather, love, despite the pressures that surrounded her in the aristocratic society she lived in. Despite being world’s apart, both Birdie and Tenley, in their troubles, learn the true meaning of love and the beauty of growing spiritually.

Two recurrent themes in this book are love and forgiveness. While I feel Tenley’s love story was a little rushed, I enjoyed seeing all the characters contribute to her growth. Her story beautifully depicts how through love, forgiveness and spiritual maturity, broken relationships can be mended. Birdie’s story painted a wonderful, realistic picture of what true love looked like in an aristocratic society.

With a fair amount of romance and drama, the author seems to cater particularly to a young female audience, though I find this book also to be suitable for more mature audiences. While this is a Christian fiction book, it does appear to be tailored to fit the mainstream market, though it does not to abandon its title altogether.

Most references to sex/sexual desire are subtle and not taken too far, though there are moments when tension builds. Overall the book did contain a biblical message of love and forgiveness, but was not as spiritually-focused as I originally expected.

Birdie’s story sold this book for me, but I do believe it is Tenley’s story that ties it all together. In the end, it all boils down to the reader’s taste.

-A big thank you to NetGalley & Thomas Nelson for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck