Positive Affirmations

Hey friends! I hope you are having an awesome day. I started mine off with a cup of coffee, a meditative walk, and a podcast I am OBSESSED with called Finding Body Freedom. My plans for today are to eat some yummy food, catch some rays in the pool, and hit up a yoga class tonight. Ahhh don’t ya just love summer?

So today I wanted to talk to you guys about something that has been SO helpful in my life/recovery. Something that I practice each and every day, and something that consistently reminds me who I am and where I’m going. Drum roll pleaseeeeee….

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Positive affirmations are basically positive statements that you tell yourself over and over until you finally start to believe them. The important thing about positive affirmations is speaking as if what you WANT to happen is ALREADY happening. For example:

If you’re struggling with anxiety, instead of hoping that one day you will be brave enough to do xyz…your positive affirmation would be:

I am brave. Today I am brave. I am brave right now.

Get it? So you’re constantly speaking in the present tense, speaking the life and truth that you want for yourself.

There are simple affirmations…

  • I am strong.
  • I can do this.
  • I have a purpose.

…and more specific affirmations to match your current situation/struggle. Here are a few of my favorite affirmations that have helped me tremendously in my eating disorder recovery:

  • I am not more valuable if I take up less space.
  • I am MORE than my body.
  • I am a SOUL with a body, NOT a body with a soul.
  • My appearance, weight, etc does not determine my value.

I know at first this may sound a little cheesy and overly-positive but I am telling you, it works. It really does. If you’re new to this, maybe just start out saying a simple affirmation once a day. Anyone can do that, right? Once you start seeing the impact of that affirmation (and you will), increase the amount of times you say it and HOW you say it. One of the coolest ways I’ve learned how to say affirmations is to stand in front of the mirror, look yourself  in the eye, and speak your truth. At first, this is hard. Very hard. But the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more you start to believe it. Looking in the mirror every day and telling myself “I am beautiful” has completely changed things for me. Try it for yourself.

Last year, I was in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) where we did this really neat positive affirmation practice. The leader of the group started out by telling us all to go outside, look around, and write about something we thought was beautiful. People wrote about the flowers and the grass, the tall buildings and the butterflies. As for me? I wrote about the sky, of course. (Those who know me know about my weird obsession with the sky). As someone who loves to write and loves the sky, I was all over this. I wrote about how it was open and expansive, beautiful and calming. I wrote and wrote and wrote until the leader called us back in the room.

Once we were inside, she told us all to read what we had written. But then, she pulled a trick on us. Whatever we had written about, we had to cross out that word (“sky”) and put the word “I” instead. Then we had to read it out loud. Mine sounded a little something like this:

“I am open. I am expansive. I am beautiful. I am calm.”

And it went on and on and on. This was such a powerful experience and one that I will never forget. If God spent so much time making a beautiful sky and flowers for us to enjoy, just imagine how much more time he spent on us. His people, his humans, his children. His greatest accomplishment and most prized possession.

How funny it is that it’s so easy to see the beauty in His creation, but so hard to see the beauty in ourselves. 

So I know this is more of an extreme example, but learning to view myself in a positive light, an empowered light has changed everything. And know that it’s okay to say affirmations that you may not believe at first. This is TOTALLY normal. When I first started saying “I am brave”, I did not believe it at all. I was at a point where I was crippled with anxiety and tied down by my fears. I was the opposite of brave. But day after day, I filled myself with that truth:

Scared to go on a first date? “I am brave.” And look, now I have Chris ❤

Scared to go to school? “I am brave.” And now I have a degree.

Scared to go to yoga training? “I am brave.” And I completed my first weekend of training. Sore as frick, but I did it.

Trust me, you are these things. You are brave, you are beautiful, you are capable. Your sneaky little mind is the only thing keeping you from believing the truth. Fight against it, would you? Tell your brain to shut up. Tell your brain to quiet down. And tell yourself that YOU are in control, YOU have the power inside of you, and YOU will fulfill the affirmations you set for yourself if only you give it a try.

Love you all!

Tate

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Random Thoughts + Life Update + Rambling

Hi guys! Sooo I usually don’t do posts like this, but I thought it might be a good idea to give ya’ll a little glimpse into my life because THINGS ARE CHANGINGGG (and I’m trying not to freak out about it. Yo girl happens to be a bit of a creature of habit) but for the most part, all good changes. Exciting exciting exciting!

So if you follow me on Insta (tatum_morton) you might have seen my post a few days ago about how I’m starting my yoga teacher training next week and guys, I am PUMPED. Like I’ve never been so excited for something in my whole life. It’s kinda funny because when I started yoga a few years ago, everyone thought it would be just a little phase that I would grow out of. But the more I practiced, the more I fell in love with it and knew it was supposed be a big part in my life. Hence, yoga teacher training. I’m feeling allllll da feels: excited, nervous, anxious, ready to meet people, ready to try something new but mostly…excited. I can’t wait to find people who are into this whole health and wellness lifestyle that I am SO passionate about. I don’t feel like I’ve met my tribe of people yet, so I hope this experience will introduce me to some of my tribe members!

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I have biiiiig dreams for this yoga thing and I feel like this training is the first step. Eventually, I would love love love to teach yoga at an eating disorder treatment center. As some of you know, treatment was the first place I  got introduced to yoga. At first, I was not super down for it and had the “yoga is stretching” mentality. But once I got more and more into yoga, I realized that yes…some of it is stretching, but the other part is a kickass workout. And the BEST part, is the spiritual part of it. Guys, I am telling you…yoga has changed my life. The way I view the world, view myself, treat others, has completelyyyy changed since I started practicing. Oh and for someone who severely struggles with anxiety, learning about BREATHING has been a complete game changer. The fact that I have all that I need inside of me (breath, Jesus, power, peace, blah blah blah) has really helped lower my anxious and never-ending thoughts. Praise the Lord. And the yoga mat.

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Nexttttt….MY BROTHER GOT MARRIEDAnd I’m not just saying this because he’s my brother, but it was the BEST wedding I’ve ever been to. Beautiful, personal, and tons and tons of fun (maybe the alcohol had something to do with that?) I keep joking that it was the best night of my life and it wasn’t even my wedding lol. I think what made it so special is because of the relationship I have with Ty and Ry. To be completely honest, Rylee is the sister I’ve always wanted but never had. And trust me, we are sisters, complete with clothes sharing and bickering and all the stuff that sisters do. I’ve never been super close to my brother, which makes me sad, but I truly feel that Rylee has helped me and my brother get closer. I must admit, he is a prettyyy cool guy and I’m proud to call him my brother. It has been the coolest experience to watch them fall in love and finally take that step towards marriage. I was an emotional wreck the day of the wedding (imagine that lol) but it really was such a special night. I got the honor of making a lot of decorations for it so that was a fun way to be involved. If you need any wedding decos, hit meeee up. But yes, overall it was a spectacular night. Oh and I can’t forget to mention that I caught the bouquet! I mean, I do have a bit of the Morton competitiveness streak in me 😉 My Dad immediately ran up screaming “NO NO NO” and my boyfriend stood in the corner, terrified. Good times, good times :’)

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Hmm…what to talk about next?! This is kinda vague but I feel like God is about to do some big things in my life. I don’t even know how to explain it, but I’ve been feeling the need for change, for movement, for transition. I’ve always wanted to travel and that urge is getting stronger and stronger by the day. I would love to go on a mission trip or a internship abroad or something like that. I just feel like this world is so big, so why shouldn’t we explore it?! Why shouldn’t we travel and spread The Word and love people and do things and have those experiences to look back on. I feel like I’ve spent these past few years of my life doing a lot of internal work with my recovery and all that. And you know what? I’m kinda done with that period of my life. That work had to be done and it was and now I know who I am and I’m on the path of recovery and I wanna LIVE. Go places! Meet people! Try new things! Eat new foods (God, I have waited SO long to not be scared of that) and LIVE MY LIFE.

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One more thing I wanted to touch on was the power of intention setting, manifestation, the law of attraction and all that good stuff. Your reality is a product of your thoughts. Think good things, good things will happen. Put out good vibes, receive good vibes. I know that sounds very yoga and woowoo to a lot of you, but I’m telling you, this stuff works. I write intentions like no other and practice meditation each and every day. So I urge you to write it out. Write what you want your life to look like in one year, two years, five years. What kind of person do you want to be? Where do you want to live? Make a dream board! Ahhh, these are my favorite things ever. So fun to make and even funner (not a word, I know) to watch come to life. A lot of what is happening right now are things that I have jotted down in my journal months ago. Like no joke, specific things have happened that I never would’ve dreamed could happen. Dream big, my friends. Dream big.

And that’s all I have for you today! Sorry if that was boring and kinda all over the place but that’s how I roll. I feel like I’m finally at a good spot in my life: confident in who I am, determined to reach my goals, and open to new experiences and new people coming into my life. This life really is such a beautiful thing. A crazy, complicated makes you wanna chop your head off thing….but a beautiful one as well. Grateful grateful grateful.

Have a wonderful day my little lovebugs!

Tate ❤

Date Yo Self

Sometimes it scares me that I like to be alone so much. Sometimes it concerns me that I have a hard time when others are around, that my mood drastically changes in the presence of others. Is this what it’s like to be an introvert? A highly sensitive introvert? A highly sensitive introvert in a world of extroverts? Hmm.

I don’t think liking to be by myself is a bad thing, but I think it’s a bad thing if I can’t adapt to being with others. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t crave people, why I don’t crave that community? Life is all about people, right? Community and connections and relationships. At least, that’s what pastor Dan always says (and churches in general, and people in general, and life in general). But if life is such a social thing, why do I prefer to be alone?

It’s weird to me that some of my best moments and memories have been by myself. It kinda makes me happy though. There are some things that have happened that no one else knows about and no one else will ever know about. They were moments that were meant for me and only me and I feel special knowing that it was a unique, personal experience. Moments with God, moments on my yoga mat, moments in nature. Moments when I was depressed, moments laying in bed during treatment, moments when I literally had to pep talk myself into doing something I was scared of. But I did it, I did all of those things. By myself, I might add. Emotions and experiences all by myself. I am my own best friend.

I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some people can’t stand to be by themselves and I feel sorry for them. I have spent so long trying to figure out who I am and now that I finally have a grasp on it, I like who I am. I want to be around myself because I have worked so hard shaping myself into the person I want to be around. Truth is, you have to be around yourself forever so the sooner you start liking yourself, the better. There’s no getting rid of ya.

 

there is you and you.

this is a relationship.

this is the most important relationship.

 

– home

Nayirarah Waheed wrote this poem and I absolutely love it. It speaks truth, like all of her work so beautifully does. You and you is a relationship. You and you is the most important relationship. We spend so much time trying to create and strengthen relationships with others, but why don’t we work on creating and strengthening the relationship with ourselves? It takes just as much time and effort as any relationship does but hear me on this one: it’s worth it. The time spent is worth it. The effort spent is worth it. YOU are worth it.

So take yourself on a date. Explore your hobbies. Figure out what YOU like and what you “like” because everyone else likes it. Buy yourself a milkshake, or a bath bomb, or a book. Sit at a coffee shop all day. Sit on a mountain top all day. I don’t really care what you do, but do something. You deserve to spend time with yourself.

Think about when you start dating someone new. You want to know everythinggggg about them. Now do that with yourself. Find out who you truly are and then seek out things that support and honor that person. Things will change after you start “dating” yourself. You’ll see that some people in your life are not good for you, so off they go. Some things you spend so much time doing really aren’t getting you any closer to your goals so to the trash they go. The clothes you wear, the music you listen to, the environment you surround yourself with: do you even like these things? If not, why do you do them? Why do you force yourself to be someone you’re not?

I’m at the place where I know myself so well. I know what things make me happy and what things don’t. I know the type of people I want to be friends with and the people I need to keep my distance from. I’ve accepted that I’m an introvert, I’m creative, I’m outdoorsy, I’m sensitive. I’ve accepted that I’m complicated, I’m moody, I’m strong-willed, I’m a morning person. These sound like little things but they are the things that make up ME. I can’t change them, nor do I want to. I may not be like everyone else but I’m at the point where I don’t really care. I remember I used to care so much about what people thought of me. I would cover my face in makeup and spend so much money on clothes and I was highly affected by other people’s opinions. But now? I wear what I want. I barely wear makeup. I’m proud of my freckles. I know that I am so much more than what I look like. You can’t tell anything by what someone looks like. I’m confident in WHO I am as a person rather than WHAT I look like and let me tell ya, it’s been a beautiful transformation. And I only hope that happens for you too. Because remember:

You’re worth it. You deserve it. You’re unique and awesome and the world needs you to be authentically YOU.

Kbye I’m taking myself out on a date!

Tate

The Power of Being Known

Chances are, you don’t know me. Maybe you read my blog and maybe I like your Instagram pictures, maybe we’re Snapchat friends or occasionally like each other’s tweets. You may think you “know” me but you don’t KNOOOOW me…and there’s a BIG difference.

The other day I was sitting down with someone who has been in my life for about seven years now. I was venting to him about how my Grandma just died and how I’m struggling with recovery and how life has just been really hard lately. I was broken, hopeless, and ultimately in need of some words of encouragement. What he didn’t give me was that, but what he did give me was something I will never EVER forget:

He got real quiet, looked me deep in the eyes, and said “Tatum, I KNOW you.”

And that was that.

I. Know. You.

Three simple words that meant everything to me, that meant more than any advice or encouragement could ever mean. He didn’t tell me that things were going to get better, that life was just testing me, that I needed to keep my chin up. But he did tell me that he knew me, and that was all that mattered.

At our core, we all have a longing to be known – to know others and be known by them without having to put up any walls or put on any masks. It’s a hard thing to be vulnerable, but it’s a beautiful thing. Magic happens when you let someone SEE you, when you let someone in REGARDLESS of how you FEEL or LOOK that day. When you can BE YOURSELF without fearing what someone will say or how they will react. When you let someone see your HEART, you let them SEE you. And when you let someone SEE you, you are KNOWN.

“Watch carefully the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” –Atticus

I could’ve gone into that conversation with that person guarded, with my walls up, with a smile slapped on my face. But I didn’t. I CHOSE to let him see me in my darkness, my despair, my hopelessness. I let him watch as the tears fell down my face. I let him see the pain in my eyes. I allowed him to see WHO I was, AS I was, that day. And every day is different. He has seen me on top of the world and under the world, he has seen me laugh without a care and cry without a cause. He has seen me in my highest of highs and lowest of lows and BECAUSE he has been there through all of that, he KNOWS me. He knows my heart, my intentions, the core of who I am. And knowing that he knows me is one of the most special, treasured feelings I have ever had.

Who knows you? Truly, honestly KNOWS you? Who have you let in? Who do you NEED to let in? For a long time, I wrestled with these questions and was heartbroken when I finally realized the answer: not enough people. I had let my family in, but that was pretty much it. And let me tell ya, it was a lonely way to live. I wondered why didn’t have strong friendships, why I didn’t let others get close to me, what was WRONG with me. One day, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks: INSECURITY. Yep, I was insecure to a point where it paralyzed me. I didn’t like me, so how could others possibly like me? I wouldn’t dare let them in because I was terrified of them seeing who I truly was. And that’s when the work began.

The work of truly figuring out who I was, what I believed in, what my values were. It may sound funny, but it took me a long time to get to know myself again. For so long I had hid behind walls of shame and doubt and insecurity; I had hid behind my eating disorder, my cheer uniform, ANYTHING that could protect people from knowing the real me. I felt like people liked me, but they didn’t know me. I had “friends,” but I didn’t have FRIENDS. It was a devastating realization and the only person to blame was myself. I was the one who had created those barriers and boy, I was the one who was gonna break them down.

And I did. I did the work. I figured out who I was and slowly started letting people see that person. Day by day, I watched my relationships get stronger – the casual catching up and small talk I was used to turned into deep, meaningful conversations with people. And the strangest thing happened: the more I let people see me, the more they let me see them. It was a beautiful thing, a powerful thing. My relationships became a safe place, an open place, a place where I was listened to and loved and KNOWN, truly fully KNOWN.

Let yourself be known today. Trust me, you’re awesome. And if you don’t think so, it’s your silly little brain telling you that. You are unique, one of a kind, and so unbelievably worthy of being known.

XOXO Tate

the PROBLEM with PROBLEMS

Problems. We all have them, and in one way or another, we all handle them. Some of us avoid them, some of us tackle them head on, and some of us go about it at more of a leisurely pace, thinking “it will all work out in the end.” Whatever your technique, problems are inevitable and we must deal with them in order to move on with our lives. However, there is one big problem about problems (hahahah) and that is this:

It’s important to look at the problem in your life, but your problem shouldn’t BE your life

Let me elaborate: Dealing with your problems is a GOOD thing, a HEALTHY thing. But it can turn into a not-so-good, not-so-healthy thing if your whole entire life is about solving your problem. Life is not one big math equation and there is not one perfect solution. Bummer, I know :/ If we spend our whole entire life trying to solve that problem or find that solution, we will waste our life. One problem is not worth one life, regardless of how big it is.

Let me explain even more: Most of you know I’m recovering from anorexia. The past seven years of my life have been dedicated to recovery. I’ve spent years and years in all sorts of treatments, from inpatient to outpatient to IOP’s to groups to individual therapy and on and on and on. I’ve had to focus a lot on my eating disorder because my life actually depended on it. Had I not spent so long fighting for recovery, I would not be here today. Eating disorders are exhausting, soul-sucking, and ultimately life-threatening. And that was my problem.

However, a few weeks ago, I realized an awful truth: My eating disorder had become my life. It was no longer a problem IN my life, but my life ITSELF. When people asked me who I was and what I did, my first thought was “Well I count calories and exercise obsessively and cry about food and *insert more eating disorder behaviors here). I no longer had a life anymore. ED had stolen it.

As much as this realization sucked, it made me really think about the life I want to live vs the life I’m living. I don’t want my life to be my eating disorder; I want my life to be free and happy and balanced and fun. I want my life to be full of people and places and traveling and yes…even food. I want to take back my life, the life that was never ED’s in the first place.

Maybe you don’t have an eating disorder. Maybe this isn’t making sense to you at all. But my guess is, you probably have some type of problem in your life right now. What I want to do is encourage you to take a step back and honestly look at how much of that problem is taking up your life. Do you feel like you’re living life and this is just a problem in it? Or do you feel like you’re living in your problem and life is just what happens in the meantime? It’s a weird concept to wrap your head around, but definitely something to think about.

Because when it comes down to it, life is short. So so unbelievably short. And I don’t want to spend my life going from problem to problem or in my case, being stuck on the same problem forever. Life isn’t about solving problems; life is about living. So I urge you to really let that sink in and do some introspection about the problems you have in your own life. Just remember, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical). But really, I’m in the same boat. We all are. Let’s tackle our problems together, tell them to shut the eff up and LEAVE, and get on with LIVING our LIFE, shall we?

xoxooxxoxo

Tate

Passionate About Passion

So for those of you who don’t already know, I entered a writing contest a few months ago and I just found out that I won. WOOO. Considering I found out about the contest a few days before the final submission date and totally entered on a whim, this came as a huge shock to me. So with that being said, I am now officially a published writer which is so exciting and professional sounding and gahhhh :))))

BUT this post is not about that and I don’t want this to come off as braggy in any way. My point in telling you all of that is because after the initial shock and excitement of it all, God hit me with this amazing truth: He always has something up His sleeve and we usually have no idea about it. That little trickster.

But let me rewind a bit. As far as my writing goes, I’ve basically been writing as long as I can remember. Heck, I probably have a journal entry about popping out of the womb for all I know. But seriously, writing has been a huge part of my life since like…forever. I have journal entries about my recess struggles in elementary school (ugh mean girls) to when my Dad and Papa both got very sick to the deepest and darkest thoughts during my eating disorder. Pretty much everything that’s happened in my life has been written down. I keep all of those journals in a little drawer in my closet, locked and tucked away for no one to see. But there’s a sense of comfort in knowing I can pull out any journal at any time and be transported back to that time in my life, reliving those memories again and again.

I never really thought of writing as a career. I mean, I loved to do it, but it was always more of a hobby to me. But as I’ve grown older and older, I’ve started to see how it could become something I do for a living one day. How lucky I am to have found the thing that lights my soul on fire, yet also could make me some monaaay. But mostly lights my soul on fire, that’s the important part 🙂

It’s not just MY writing I’m hooked on, though. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I  can remember. There’s something about opening a book and forgetting about your own troubles as you get transported to different scenes and characters and lives. It’s like a time machine almost. My fascination with books has only grown stronger and stronger as I have grown. You guys think I’m kidding when I say I’m at Barnes and Noble every day. Jokes on you.

This past year I’ve focused even more on writing, both my own and the works of others. I entered a few creative writing classes at school and absolutely fell in love with them. You ever have one of those moments that made you stop and think, “Yes. THIS is what I was made to do.” Yeah, pretty much me every time I had my writing classes. It was so exhilarating to feel like I finally found my purpose in life.

After that realization, I became even more obsessed with reading and writing, if that’s even possible. Poetry, in particular, became a newfound love of mine and something I’m now experimenting with on my own. I started this blog as I way to share my thoughts with all of you. I have an ongoing list of my favorite poems and quotations that I add to every few days. I have about thirty pages so far and I have a feeling this is only the beginning :’) I find so much connection in reading the words of others, like I know them and they know me even though we have never met. Interesting how someone can write something that resonates with you so deeply. Maybe we’re all more similar than we think. Maybe writing is our way of showing that.

BUT ANYWAYS, back to my original topic! Sorry that was kind of a long intro. I told you all of that stuff because I feel like God spends so much time preparing us for things we have no idea are going to happen. My love for writing, my love for reading, the summers I spent with my nose nuzzled in a book, the journal I carry around everywhere I go?  Those things didn’t happen by mistake. They were all preparing me for this moment and the moments to come. Maybe my thirty page list of quotes will be a thirty page list of MY quotes one day. You never know with God, you really don’t. Which is probably the most exciting thing ever (other than reading and writing of course). Lol jk, you win God.

My point is, the things that are happening to you right now are somehow preparing you for something in the future. The pain you’re feeling? It’s making you stronger for something down the road. The confusion you’re feeling about your own career path? God’s way of letting you explore and figure out what you truly love. The hours you’re practicing in hopes to be a famous athlete or singer or writer or whatever it may be, they’re going to pay off somehow, someway. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, happens by mistake and no minute is wasted. God is constantly preparing, constantly prepping, constantly scheming up something for us in the future. Oh how lucky we are to have a Father who looks out for us even when we are blind to His plan.

And one last point while I’m feeling super pumped about this! Listen to me and listen well: Find what you love and do it. Did you hear that? Find what you love and do it. Especially the last part. Even if you don’t think it will make you “good money” or it isn’t a “growing field” or blah blah blah. If you are passionate about something and you want to make it happen, make it happen. You’re the only one who can. Put in the hard work and follow your dreams. I hate how cliche that sounded but you know what I mean. Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate and always have that thought of “What if?” Eliminate that possibility for regret and do what you want NOW. After all, what’s a life without passion or purpose? Not one that I want to live, that’s for sure.

XOXO Tate

 

Keeping a Heavenly Perspective

I needed today. I needed fresh air and trees and adventure. Sunshine, leaves, and a mountaintop perspective. There’s something to be said for leaving the city behind and spending a day with no phone, no worries, no obligations. Just me and the trees. And my boyfriend lugging along complaining how long we were hiking. Ahhh perfection.

Towards the end of the day, Chris and I went to my favorite place IN THE WORLD (yes, more than Disneyland) and as always, it filled my soul to the brim. It was surprisingly vacant for a Saturday, which me and Chris were thrilled about. It’s always a good thing when you see more trees than people. We spent the afternoon exploring and laughing and admiring the beauty around us.

While we were hiking, I had this huge epiphany moment. Actually here’s the exact place where this moment happened so ya’ll can get a clearer picture:

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Beautiful, isn’t it? The water, the trees, the way the sky is reflecting off the lake. It was one of those moments that you’ll remember the rest of your life. One of those moments when you feel like everything is right in the world. One of those moments where you can’t help but thank God for what He has made.

And THIS is when my epiphany started. I was just sitting there soaking everything in when I had this thought: I don’t think anything could ever be prettier than this. Like I was fully convinced I could check “VISIT PRETTIEST PLACE EVER” off my bucket list. But then…God hit me with this thought: If you think this is pretty, just wait until Heaven. And then my head started spinning and I started thinking about Heaven and Earth and Jesus and nature and everything in between. And here’s what I came up with:

This place is not our home. Earth is just sort of a pit stop before we get to our final destination. A nice pit stop, none the less – none of that motel 1 crap. We’re lucky that we get to stay here for awhile and experience moments like the one above. We have sunshine and mountains and flowers and rivers, oceans and animals and forests and canyons. We live on a beautiful planet full of people and places that will never fail to take our breath away. But this is not our home. And if we think the things HERE will take our breath away, I cannot even IMAGINE what Heaven will be like.

I wish I could describe what I think Heaven will be like, but I know it’s above and beyond my wildest dreams (raise your hand if you just started singing Tswift). I have some ideas of what I hope is there, some requests I may ask God if He could have arranged. I hope it’s one big party with all of us Christ followers, a reunion where I will finally get to see my dear loved ones who have already passed. I hope there’s some type of movie theater where we can watch undercover footage of events in the bible as they actually happened. Can you imagine being able to see Jesus walk on water? Or being nailed to the cross? Or sitting down and breaking bread with His disciples? I hope heaven is full of people and animals and creatures we may not even know exist. But like I said, this is just a guess, just something I think about from time to time. Quite honestly, I have no idea what God has in store for us up there. I mean, does anyone really?

And that’s the most beautiful part of it all, the most wondrous part of it all. Heaven is one big mystery and I’ll have no idea what it’s actually like until I’m up there one day. Oh, what a glorious day that will be! The day I will finally fall on my knees and meet my savior and discover the magical mystery of the world above. I think it will be overwhelming and exciting and all of those things, but I also think it will feel like coming home. After all, that’s where we really belong.

On the dashboard of my car, I have a little note that says, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” Cancer, heartbreak, addiction, road rage. There is no pain too big for God. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO PAIN TOO BIG FOR GOD. He heals our pain in all different ways: sometimes it’s time or meeting the right people or losing everything until all we have is Him. And sometimes, it’s being sent home to our real home, Heaven. Death is not something to be afraid of when you know it’s followed by more life. Can it even be considered death if it’s just our physical bodies that die? Our souls, the REAL part of us, will always be alive. Our last breath on Earth will be followed by our first breath in Heaven. And that is something to be excited for, not fearful of.

I hope you soak that in and really think about what we have in store for us. We’re here for now, but we’re not here for long. Keeping a heavenly perspective will allow us to enjoy the time we have left on Earth, but be excited and expectant for the life we have after that. Heaven, here we come!

XOXO your happy little camper,

Tate