Thursday, July 23, 2015
When I knew that I wasn’t going to be working this summer, I had all intentions of using my time to focus on my writing. I was going to make a calendar for my blog, marking the dates in which I would publish posts on workouts, foods, and how the lake life is the only life we should all be living. But then the days come and the days go. They get filled up with appointments and errands and lunch dates with girlfriends, and the down time I have to stitch words into sentences slowly falls to the wayside.
But look! A new post!
The story I’m about to share with you is one that I wish I didn’t have to write. It’s messy and scary and raw, but it’s exposing a chapter in my “book” that I feel called to put on the shelves. While I don’t know the reasons why God is bringing me through it, my heart tells me that one reason is to extend a hand to other men and women saying, “take my hand, walk with me, let’s journey beside one another and remind ourselves that we are not alone”.
With words stirring in my mind and tears rolling down my face, I sat and stared at my mom. I didn’t want to share with her what my self-talk was saying because it was awful, negative, and down right embarrassing. You can’t be in a swimsuit because you just had a banana and that banana made your stomach bloat. No one wants to look at a body like that. Oh, and forget about enjoying the day with your friends because you are far less confident, attractive, and desirable than them.
That was just the first strike.
Then came in how I felt physically. My body was tense yet weak. My heart and mind were racing. My head was throbbing and my ears were ringing. I wanted to cry but didn’t have anything to cry about. I was crabby but why? I didn’t want to go to my soccer game but I love soccer! I knew I needed to eat something before the game but melted into a puddle when I stared at the fridge because I didn’t want to eat too many carbs or calories or processed foods.
My mom stood beside me as I word-vomited everything that was going on in my head. Again, I knew I needed to walk her through what was happening so she knew just how dark my struggle was. After 30 minutes of a full on anxiety attack, I escaped it and felt like I had control of my body again. I still wasn’t 100%, though, because I was scared and angry at why I had to go through this. Why did God put anxiety on me? What did I do to deserve these feelings?
I’m broken. We all are.
I can sit here all day and wonder and ask and question “why me?”, but that will lead to a dead end. Instead I am choosing to talk. All week I have been in conversation with my boyfriend, family, and friends about my anxiety. It’s not easy, more embarrassing than anything, but if people are going to love me than they need to know the parts of me that need loving the most.
We are all going through life with baggage and it wasn’t until recently that I picked mine up and started sorting through it. I’m tossing out the past but still saving some of it because it needs my attention. My insecurities, thoughts on body image, confidence, food struggles, the list goes on when I want it to stop but the more dust that gathers, the more I am running away from a God that is seeking me out.
As much as I think I can figure out where this anxiety and other struggles are coming from, I can't. I have an appointment next week to meet with a counselor to begin my recovery and am looking up to a Father who is always constant, even during this battle. I trust that He is forcing me to deal with these things so that I can live the way that serves Him and others around me best!
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
With ease and hesitation, I climbed on the railing of the bridge. My toes crept over the edge just slightly, leaving enough room for my eyes to look down at the water below. I knew I was going to be ok and that hey, maybe I would enjoy jumping from 30 feet up into a lake below?! But when I was about to do something I had never done before, my nerves knew to kick it in high gear.
He held my hand, counted to three, and we jumped.
My head popped up from the water and a smile emerged on my face. I laughed, joking that I think I let half of the water in my body through my nose and ears. It was thrilling yet terrifying. It was a rush yet calming. It was putting myself out of my comfort zone to see that I can survive on the other side of it.
God has placed things in my life that are nowhere close to my realm of comfort. From people to events to emotions, I am continually being pulled and stretched to dive in corners where I have never been. I’m feeling things that were part of my past but are slowly emerging in the present. Truthfully, all of these things scare me. My mind and heart act like I just injected a 5-Hour Energy Drink directly to them. But at the end of the day, how blessed am I to get the opportunity to experience these things? I get the chance to grow and be challenged and breathe.
I wasn’t given a life that didn’t come with detours and dead ends. None of us were. We all experience those situations that make us want to crawl out of our skin and run away. So where do we run to?
God. The one who knows our heart and what it needs to stay full.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
It goes without saying that I love my coffee and I love the lakes, so when my mom and I drove down Lake Avenue in Battle Lake and saw a new store that combined those things, we made a mother-daughter morning out of it.
While I sipped my coffee and she enjoyed her bagel, we both sounded like a broken record because we kept looking around saying, "this is just so cute in here!", which it was! From the color scheme to the furniture to the presentation of all the yummy baked goods, it looked like something straight out of Martha Stewart Living.
Last week I had the opportunity to interview Sara, the owner of Smackin' Cakes!
How long has Smackin' Cakes been in business?
Our grand opening was May of this year.
We use to have a gift shop in this same building for 5 years but got a little bored with it and I always wanted to have a coffee shop (and cupcakes as an added bonus!). As owners of Stella's next door, we use to have both the restaurant with a coffee shop inside, too, but because we became so busy with both, we decided to close the coffee shop and focus on the restaurant. I've always wanted a cute little shop on main street and looking around Smackin' Cakes, I think I got it!
What does Smackin’ Cakes specialize in/sell?
Coffee, latte's, blended drinks, and smoothies along with our baked goods such as cupcakes, bars, different kinds of sweet little treats, and our famous scones.
What makes your scones famous?
We've had them around for 8 years and not a day goes by that customers don't ask about them!
What is your most popular selling item?
Our Blueberry Almond Scones as well as our Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake.
Is everything baked in-store or do you bring them in from somewhere?
Everything is made right here except for the bagels.
Does Smackin’ Cakes just sell baked goods and coffee?
No. We have a gift shop located in the back of the store that has Battle Lake/Minnesota clothing, home/cabin decor, candles, etc.
What do you suggest someone order if they have never been to Smackin’ Cakes?
Definitely a scone and blended latte. Also, our cupcakes are out of this world! You can custom order cupcakes (24-48 hrs in advance) for any kind of occasion!
Anything else that you would like to share about Smackin’ Cakes?
You know when you walk into a place and it just doesn't feel right? That's not the case when you walk through our door. We spent over a year shopping around for vintage pieces and decor, and I just really love how it turned out. It's comfortable and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
Smackin' Cakes is located at 114 Lake Avenue South in Battle Lake, MN.
They are open Monday-Sunday 7am-8pm.
Want seconds? Check them out on Facebook!