The Benefits of Being Best-Friends With Your Mom

faith

I know what you’re thinking, oh great, another blog post about loving your mom.

Yeah, most of us have moms, and most us love our moms. I’m just here to tell you how much better life gets when you grow-up, and let her be your best-friend. When I was fifteen, even sixteen, I didn’t need her to be my friend, I needed her to be my mom. I needed her to give me boundaries, yell at me, drive me to dance, and take my phone away. I would be completely different if she hadn’t. I still need her to tell me when I’m wrong, ask me about deadlines, tell me if an outfit is too slutty, take my blog pictures, and hassle me about spending too much money.

I’m about to leave. I’m facing the reality that I will never “live” with her ever again. Home will still be home, but my parent’s house will never again be only home. I’m gonna need my mom more than ever, but this time I need her to let me complain, cry on her shoulder, take me shopping, visit me when I’m lonely, and ask me about my week. I know this kind of relationship won’t be a problem for us, because she’s already my best friend. Sure I have plenty of best-friends my own age, but no one understands me like she does. No one knows my entire history, and no one will ever be as similar to me as she is. I could give you a cheesy Buzzfeed list of relatable gifs talking about how she’s my shopping buddy, but it’s so much more than that.

My mom is my spiritual mentor, my standard, and my evidence that living for Christ creates a flood of answers and immeasurable joy. My mom is an example of the kind of person I want to be, and sometimes she’s a reflection of the person I am now… the good and the bad. I may look like my handsome dad, and I more appreciate his sense of humor, but I definitely inherited her music taste and love for fashion. I may not be as organized and tidy as her, but I learned her creativity and love for writing.

Yes, I think my parents are the coolest people ever, but most people think that. Look at your mom, and notice the ways you’re like her. She’s probably influenced your life more than any other person ever. She devotes her existence to maintaining yours. When your childhood comes to an end, let her be your best-friend, because I’m sure that she wants to. The benefits of being close to your mom are literally scientific, but mentally and spiritually we need our moms more than anything.

At least tell her you love her.

Dedicated to Mama.

Sincerely,

Jordan

 

Featured Image by Love, Me Photography 2016

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Spring Cleaning: Friendships

faith

Friends are mostly the best thing ever.

Friends are also the worst thing ever.

These are some of the most difficult relationships we deal with, I would say this especially goes for girls. I’ve had my share of amazing friendships (shoutout to those who – for whatever reason – have stuck by my craziness), but I’ve also been in a few friendships that took a turn towards toxicity, as many of you can probably relate to. I’ve learned to start looking for a few signs in my friendships that show me if this is someone I want to be in my inner-circle – because once they are allowed in – it is very painful to get them out. As you read these, remember to ask yourself if you are this kind of friend, just as I have to ask myself.

* Not all of these points are based on my own experience, but also from observing other relationships around me. *

1. Where do you both stand on issues that are super important to you?

If you are non-confrontational (like I am) than this is crucial. You do not need to agree with your friends on everything, in fact – I’ve learned a lot and become even more secure in my faith by being around those with differing worldviews. Some of my best-friends disagree with me on things, but when there is love and respect it isn’t an issue. Yet still, if you can sense any sort of animosity between both of you on any variety of worldview issues (religion, social politics, ethics/morals, etc.), this may be someone to keep in your outer-circle – or not in your circle at all if they act on it. Some may disagree with me on this, but if you are trying to have people in your life who encourage you, support you, and believe in you, you need someone who believes with you. 

2. What is the pattern of their past friendships?

How many lasting friendships have they had? How do people of upstanding character feel about them? I’m not saying you should judge someone based on the opinions of others, but when you start to see those patterns that you were warned about reflected in your relationship, it might be time to take a step back. 

3. How do they treat your mutual friends?

I know everyone has heard, “If they’re talking about others to you, they are talking about you to others.” This couldn’t be more true. I’ve had my share of being wrapped up in gossip: I’ve talked about others, and I’ve been talked about by others. It’s painful and dramatic. Ten out of ten would not recommend. Do your friends report to you bad things that the person in question has said and done to them? If so, don’t be suprised when they do the same to you. People are far too predictable.

4. Do they actually like you?

Just like dating relationships, many friendships are very one-sided. I’ve made lots of effort to be friends with people who give me every indication that they don’t like me, but out of denial, and a desire to be appreciated, I have let it happen and let people treat me like dirt. On the other hand, I’ve had people make an effort to be friends with me, and have blown them off in a subtle – yet selfish – way. If you can sense that the person treats you like the jello-cup they choose only when there’s no more pudding, your friendship will never work out. If someone desires to be friends with you, and you “don’t like them,” ask yourself why before you write them off. Is it because they are a bad person? Or is it because of your image/reputation/appearance or other selfish reasons? 

5. Does your friend lift you up, or do they act jealous at your accomplishments?

A jealous friend is very hard to deal with, because few of us are bold enough to call them out. I mean really, the problem is ours because we are doing well and they feel bad, right? No. If you aren’t being arrogant or entitled, you don’t have to apologize for your accomplishments. If said friend isn’t over the moon for you, they don’t really like you. 

We often feel like we are walking on eggshells around friends who fall into any of these catagories, because regardless, we still desire their approval and respect. We don’t want “friend breakups” for fear of gossip and rumors – the worst side-affect. As painful as it is, there is nothing more joy-filled and free than cleaning out the people who influence you negatively, and filling your time with those who build you up. I so love to be around people who draw me closer to my relationship with Christ, and make me feel loved. Some of my favorite people are just the ones who make me feel like I’m funny, because I at least know they appreciate my presence. I’m so thankful for all the people I have ever been friends with, even the ones that didn’t last, because I have grown, become more secure in my faith, and found who are true friends. 

Proverbs 18:24

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Sincerely,

Jordan

Bright Books

faith

Hey guys! As many of you know, I am big advocate for personal expression through writing, specifically journaling (10 reasons to keep a journal). As you can imagine, I was pretty excited when I was approached by Bright Books. They have the coolest story and the cutest product! For every pair of journals they sell, they donate a light to a child/family in need. Founder Amy O’Shea discovered a unique issue when on mission in Uganda; many children could not even study at night because they had no adequate light sources. In our modern world, light is essential at all hours. It is so great that these beautiful journals provide brightness to the children that do without, and I think that there is no better honor than to be a part of something great. We are called to be light, and give light.

For more info on Bright Book’s story, check out this video.

Here’s my favorite journal.

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Sincerely,

Jordan

Yep, still good. 

faith

I felt compelled to share something that’s been on my heart all day. This season has brought out so much hate, even among young adults who barely missed voting age. This hate is not present because of any one candidate, or a combination of both, but it’s here because of the existence of absolute truth. People who are being deceived naturally hate truth, because they don’t see it for what it is, they see it as an opposing issue. We all need to give more love, and I’m not talking about tolerance, because they are too distinctly different things. I’m talking about speaking truth in love, even if it’s the unpopular thing, even if people are going to lash out because they don’t understand. I’m talking about loving people so hard that you have to take action to protect them what they think good. Loving them so hard that they hate you. As a Christ follower, I believe that God’s revelations to us through His Word, His creation, and that aching in our hearts is the only thing that is true. God knew we would be hated for knowing that, He told us so:”If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hates you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of it, therefore the world hates you.” {John 15:18-19}

So now I understand why some might hate what I believe, they might hate the way my worldview lines up with truth. But I don’t have to let it hurt me, because I am not of this world. This country, this planet, this universe is not my home. Whoever God puts in power on this earth is irrelevant to my eternal life, but it doesn’t mean I can’t take action to make my temporary home a more godly place. 

I recently had someone insult my faith, intelligence, and values over stating which party I supported in the election, although both of our opinions had no impact on this election. However, I don’t let that bother me because my faith is put in an all-powerful God, I value wisdom over intelligence, and my values are aligned with the laws given by our only righteous Law-Maker. 

God is so good to us, guys. Not because of who He allowed to be placed in power, but because He is ALWAYS good. Always. Yes, even if the candidate you didn’t want had won. Still good. Please, never forget that. xox

Getting Creative with Your Quiet Time

faith

I love to spend a lot of time during my week refocusing on my goals, journaling, and spending time in prayer. Writing in my journal (10 Reasons to Keep a Journal) gives me such a peace of mind and creative escape to record my days. Of course spending time in the Bible and in prayer is so important, but sometimes I struggle to get motivated to do so and enjoy it. Here’s a few creative ways I’ve come up with to get inspired!

1. Find somewhere new and beautiful.

Location is everything. Go outside, walk to a park, find a new coffee shop! 


2. Use your creativity.

Bible journaling is a popular thing right now, leave yourself beautiful reminders of the scriptures that inspire you!


3. Journal and write your inspirations.

I love calligraphy and writing down verses for inspiration and memory! See (DIY Journal) on how to make this journal.

Sincerely,

Jo xoxo 

So do ballerinas go to college?

ballet, faith, Uncategorized

Yes, the question I’ve received every day of  my high school career actually has a long, detailed answer. That’s okay! I want you to know!

So here’s what I’ve learned, not from personal experience, but from wise council in the ballet world. The transition from being a serious ballet student to a professional ballet dancer is an interesting and often long journey. Most ballet dancers begin this transition between the ages of 16 of 20, from who I know. Basically, all of the ballet companies are different, but I have noticed that many companies have entry level positions and training programs on many different levels. These are often labeled as (trainee programs, professional programs, second companies, etc.) My plan, as well as many other dancers I know, is trying to audition for these type of programs as they graduate high school or near graduation. I’ve had several friends be accepted into these type of programs before their senior year (you go!). Ballet dancers just kind of take it one step at a time, and many of them choose to be ballet majors in college, or take college classes while in these programs. There is no cut and dry way to do it, just trusting God that he will make His plan known to us, and doing well in auditions! From all of us who are graduating in these next few years, this is what we have understood to be true, and yes, we are still applying and touring awesome colleges!

So yes I am applying to some great universities, and it is just as much of an opportunity to get into these schools as getting into a program with a ballet company. I’m praying that I will know what I am supposed to do when the time comes, and that’s basically all you need to know!

xoxo,

Jordan

 

 

 

“How are you so skinny?”

faith, weekday thoughts

This question, among others related to my long and lean physique, is probably the most frequent question I’m asked.

I’m a ballet dancer, so most people assume I’m either:

A. Skinny BECAUSE I dance.

B. Skinny FOR dance.

C. Have an eating disorder.

Let me tell you, I’m none of these except maybe partially A. I burn a lot of calories, but I have a genetically fast metabolism and extremely evenly distributed fat. I take in all the food I need (and sometimes too much) and am at a healthy weight for my height and age.

Yes, I am tall and skinny. And yes, I can still be self-conscious about my body.

I’m not saying I should be self-conscious about my body, because I know that God  created me to be exactly the way I’m supposed to be, but I’m tired of people assuming that girls with physiques like “models” (long and skinny) don’t deserve to be uplifted as much as girls who believe they’re overweight… I mean curvy.

As long as you are taking care of your body the way you are meant to, that’s all that should matter! It’s disappointing everybody acting like body-shaming models and ballerinas and the thinner like is the best way to un-body shame curvier women.

Healthy is beautiful. Fearing the Lord is beautiful. This hamburger was really beautiful. 

That annoying Meghan Trainor song is just rude to skinny girls. 

   

 

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Proverbs 31:30

xoxo, jordan

everybody’s watching

faith, photgraphy, weekday thoughts

As most of you know, there are always going to be people younger then you, in my case kids, who are watching every single thing you do. They see your facial expressions, they hear your words, they watch your actions, and they never forget.

When I was a kid I always thought it was so fun to be at ballet and see the little toddlers watching us dance. They thought we were all so grown up. Lets be honest, we thought we were pretty fantastic, too. I knew when little ones were watching me, I always knew.

Now that I’m older I really don’t notice kids watching me, copying me, or following me. At ballet, I’m focused on myself, and in life I’m more aware of the opinions of people my age and older. However, when I think of when I was around 9 or 10, the older teenage girls were like super-heroes to me. They were so pretty, talented, and well… what I wanted to be. Every kid wants to grow up, so they figure they might as well try to be grown-up now.

The younger ones are always watching us, and we need to be aware that they will pick up on every thing we do, and eventually try to become it. Our lives shape other lives, and we want to leave lasting positive impressions on those who see us, especially kids who are learning who they were created to be.

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xoxo

*photography in this post was done with an iphone 6s and edited on VSCO*

16 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED FROM BALLET

ballet, faith

In honor of Mother’s Day [MY BIRTHDAY] I thought it would be fun to reflect on my 13 years of dancing to pull out some of the truths I’ve learned now that I’m 16… scary enough, that’s old enough to audition for a company!

OKAY… HERE’S 16 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED THROUGH BALLET

  1. Level’s do not matter as much as you think they do. “Hm, I just don’t think we can let her into this company since she wasn’t in level 5 when she was 12!”
  2. Never be satisfiedImprovement is a competition with yourself. 
  3. Corrections are a good thing. If you can’t take constructive criticism and apply it, than you will not survive the ballet world.
  4. Act the part. Would you rather feel silly but look the part or just look like a robot with feet?
  5. If you want something, prove you deserve it.
  6. Jealousy does nothing but break your own confidence. Trust me 😦
  7. Find your ‘thing”. Archy feet, long legs, flexible back, performance quality, etc. This is your selling point, know it and own it.
  8. Self confidence is more visible than you think it is. 
  9. ASK YOURSELF IF YOU REALLY LOVE DOING THIS. IF THE ANSWER IS NO…STOP. 
  10. Dance friends last forever. I moved and I’m still close with my best-friends from 6th grade.
  11. Your teachers know what they’re talking about.
  12. Watch videos of professional dancers frequently, find some kind of goal.
  13. You will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt it.
  14. There is nothing you can do to change the body God gave you, so might as well learn to use it. 
  15. You never know how many days you have left to dance. Take every opportunity.
  16. Keep the main thing the main thing. Do not let ballet be the number 1 thing in your life, because if you rely on it to bring you complete happiness, it will fail you every time. {Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things will be added to you.”}

PROVERBS 16:3 “COMMIT YOUR WORK TO THE LORD, AND YOUR PLANS WILL BE ESTABLISHED.”