Make Those Down Days Great Again!

Do you ever have days where you’re just feeling down and you don’t think you can recover your day, so you strongly consider just going to sleep and starting over again the next day? Yeah, me too. Whether or not you deal with depression like I do, I think you can probably relate to those “feeling low” sorta days. You wake up in a not-so-great mood and all those little things are going wrong. Or maybe one not-so-little thing goes wrong.. I think it’s safe to say that those days just plain suck. We tend to write them off and say, “Forget it. I’ll try again tomorrow.”

I used to just give up on having a good day at the first sign of trouble. In all honesty, I wasted a lot of days going to sleep in the middle of the afternoon. I didn’t want to have to deal with people or worry about this and that, or over think this or spend any more time than I had to being grumpy. Although I still have days like that, they don’t happen very often anymore.

I’m pretty sure that we would all rather have a day full of smiles and laughter and feel-good moments, than one full of negativity and sadness.. am I right? So stop throwing those bad days away! Try turning them into some of those better days! But it’s not that easy, Amanda.. Yeah, I know that. My suggestion is not to look for something amazing to happen that’s going to turn your whole day around. Cherish the little things. Do those small things that make you happy. Think about those silly things that make you laugh to yourself.

For me, having a good day always involves comfy clothes, like sweatpants and a favourite hoodie. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, turn on your favourite tunes (maybe that’s Beethoven or “Gangsta Rap” haha or something in between). Whatever your jam is, blast it! Dance to it. Sing along to it. Smile. Smiling always makes you feel at least a little better instantly! Read a book, go for a walk, clean your room.. Oh, I guess not all people would go for cleaning if they’re aiming for happiness; maybe it’s just me ;P Text or call a friend. Leave a friendly comment on someone’s Instagram photo. Complimenting someone might change another person’s day from bad to great, meanwhile making you feel pretty great about yourself too. Bonus! Spread those good vibes!

Sometimes changing your mood is as simple as thinking about the cute guy that’s in your math class, or that inside joke with your best friend that always makes you laugh hysterically. Even just thinking of the things that makes you happy, laugh or feel good about yourself can really change your day for the better.

Make the decision to have a good day! Don’t go down without a fight! Don’t expect everything to be perfect, but focus on the little things that brighten your day! My “little things” may be totally different from yours. That’s totally fine! But I encourage you to find what those feel-good things are for you. And the next time you’re having a not-so-great day, have the audacity to turn it around!

Posted in Because You Are Beautiful, depression, finding joy, written by a guest author | Leave a comment


TALENTS | Thanking God For Them

Well hello Beautiful! I’m sitting in my office, a lovely cup of coffee in my hands, thinking about what to write about the topic talents. Beside me is a half finished painting of a hare. I was working on him until midnight last night as I listened to philosophical debates on Youtube. Yes, my Thursday nights are hoppin’ ( hah, see what I did there).

My art is something that I used to hold far away from God. You see, the very idea that my abilities were God-given seemed like an insult to me. Someone would ooh and aww over my work and place their hand on my shoulder with a “Oh Jess! You have such a gift from God!” I would smile politely, grimace really and think to myself, “Seriously? No, actually! This is from getting up everyday and thinking about what I want to create. This is from drawing pages of lines, eclipses, and circles. This is from learning about anatomy and shadows. God?!” As I have aged, (gracefully I hope) I am learning that God orchestrates every little part of our lives. He made you with a purpose! On purpose. Sweet girl, you were made with divine purpose. You have strengths. Those talents that you have known about your whole life and the ones that you are just discovering, were given to you by a Creator who loved you before you were born. These hands were made to hold a paintbrush. What were your hands carefully designed for? What was your personality, your thought process, your feet, quick wit,  organizational skills, empathy and any number of other things, designed for? Do you know? If you don’t, that’s okay! Not knowing what your talents or strengths are does not mean that they aren’t there. After all, Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that He has made everything beautiful in HIS time.

I want to talk about the ones that we do know we have. Do you believe that the talents that you have been given are important enough to God, that they are worth pouring your heart into? I do, I believe that your strengths are unique to you! That no one else will ever share the ability that you, and you, alone have. Because everyone does things a little bit different and those differences are important. Those differences were created. When you choose to believe that your talent or strength isn’t something that could make an impact on the world, you are letting the people around miss out on a once in a lifetime experience. When you use your gifts, and share those gifts with the people around you, you are glorifying God. When I finally started to acknowledge that my artistic abilities were a gift from God, I started to see it all in a new light. I saw that every brush stroke on my canvas was glorifying God because I am honing the potential that He created.

Can we stand together and start using our gifts as a light in this world? They are doing us no good under a dust cover in the corner. You were made with purpose. Live fully.

Posted in Glorifying God, Talents, written by Jessica VanDyk | Leave a comment


TALENTS | Embrace & Live Them

If I look back on things in my life I can see that they’ve all been pointing me to here; to starting Boldly Beautiful with one of my dearest, most inspiring, loving friends. Spending hours writing behind our old computer, starting a newspaper in seventh grade, being nominated as the most organized person in middle school (my vehicle might argue that but I swear he makes that mess all on his own!), my love for English class, discovering photography and letting that lead me to working more so with teen girls.. Even my marketing talents, website design, over the top, hair-brained ideas that seem to constantly slap me in the face when I’m trying to sleep. Oh hey, girl! You think you’re going to be sleeping tonight? Think again! Muahahaha.. When I look back at those seemingly insignificant things, it’s like they were giant, fluorescent arrows pointing me straight to here. Screaming at me, in fact, that this was my calling. This was what all my strengths and talents were leading me towards. In fact, when I think about all those things leading me here, I get so incredibly giddy. All those moments that I didn’t see my talents or strengths as anything great, even all those times I didn’t realize I even had talents, they were leading me right here.

Let me tell you, friend, the journey wasn’t always beautiful and it certainly wasn’t always easy! There were times I felt like I was failing; like everything was crumbling and falling apart right at my feet. But it wasn’t doing that at all! It was pushing me, moulding me, leading me to something different, something with a huge capacity to be life changing and beautiful. Rather than seeing those moments as failure, I needed to view them as opportunities for growth. Opportunities to learn something, to learn from those mistakes and to take those lessons with me as I continued to develop and move towards my life’s calling. If I’d quit the moment failure flashed it’s ugly face at me, I wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be here. If I’d been too stubborn to acknowledge that perhaps those things weren’t happening because they weren’t meant for me, who knows where I’d be. I’d probably still be photographing weddings, even though the ridiculous amount of editing always made me cry!

Sweet girl, we need to use our talents and strengths. We need to build on those things, sharpen them, and use them to form something amazing. The things you’re passionate about? They aren’t random. They aren’t pointless or meaningless. They’ve been placed on your heart for a reason. They excited you for a reason. Those things are your calling!

So please. Please don’t give up. Don’t be scared of your talents and strengths. Use them. Learn to trust yourself. Even if you feel like you aren’t the best at it, keep going. The woods would be very silent if no birds dance except for those that sang best.

I believe in you, my darling friend! I believe that you have strengths and talents. I believe that they’re amazing and that, if you put your mind to it and work at it, they can be absolutely life changing. I believe that you can do great things. That you can change the world and make it a better place. That even if the purpose for your life is seemingly small, that you can, at the very least, change your world and make your world a better place! You’ve got this! You’ve been given everything you need to succeed. I believe in you, darling!

I’m going to say it again, cuz I’m lame like that.. Get it, giiirl!

—  In case you missed it, you can check out these posts for part one and part two on the topic of talents!  —

Posted in Talents, written by Jessica Slingerland | Leave a comment