Silence isn't always Golden......It's time to speak out against abuse.

There I was...sitting on the toilet scrolling through facebook as my legs numbed. Don't judge, I know you do it too! ;) I rubbed the sleepiness from my eyes and saw this picture from a year ago today. Facebook so graciously reminded me! (much like satan, it reminds me daily of my past mistakes, thanks a lot FB! LOLOLOL) 

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I stared, as if it were another girl. It is. I forced a smile, trying to convince myself that it's ok. Today was okay, and that was all that mattered because that's all I had to get through. I looked into my own eyes from one year ago today and thought to myself, "and yet no one knew of all I was going through, and little did I know it was about to become 100x worse. Little girl, just get out." My whole life I saw abusive relationships modeled for me inside my home and out. I promised myself to never be like the women in those relationships because I saw the hurt in their eyes. I saw how they lost themselves and I watched them lose their voices and their children. There was my first mistake.

If you know me you know I am usually a....blunt.....person. Thank my teammates from the world race for bringing that to the FRONT burner during feedback! LOL I usually think of myself as strong, bold and not afraid to speak my mind, sometimes to a fault. It can be a downfall.

 Promising myself I wouldn't be a certain way was a dive down the path of defeat. For example, when driving.....if you focus on something in the other lane, you tend to veer towards it a bit without realizing. You go where your focus is even if you don't mean to. The only way to correct it is to refocus ahead. So in my promise to myself never to be like certain people I ended up right in that same pathway. 

 I used to think "Why don't these women just leave?! Don't they think they deserve better? There is always help out there, whether it be a church or friends/family. Why do they stay? or worse, leave and come back." I judged thinking it was a bit like a dog coming back to it's own vomit. I judged thinking "they just need to get some balls and speak up! I'd never be afraid to do THAT! There is no way in hell I'd let a man treat ME like that. I wish a &%$#@ would!" (excuse the ghetto.....that came built-in ;))

Wwweeeeellllllll, last year I found myself humbled. I have been pretty silent when it comes to releasing details about what this last year held for me. Needless to say i've been in 3 homes and it's only June! To the women I used to judge, I am so so sorry. I found myself in your same silence, and it wasn't golden. It's a pretty lonely black hole, one that I never expected would take me so low. (insert "Never ever" by All Saints playing in the background lmao)

 Ya'll I was silent because 1. I was ashamed I lost my voice. The one I had to work so hard for and found again on the World Race. 2. I had the attitude of "it's nobody's business", I didn't want to be the talk of my workplace, or for anyone to feel bad for me. 3. I wanted to turn it into something that could maybe help others but didn't know how to convey it without being disrespectful towards my ex. I didn't want to divulge too much information that would portray him any type of bad way because he really does have a sweet side. 4. I still respect his family and in no way want to bring more unnecessary turmoil.  I simply didn't think I could relay it without having an underlying message of bitterness and anger seeping through. 

Through my heartbreak I learned that God is the ONLY constant in our lives. and also that I'm really glad He gave me Leo. (my fur baby seen below) EVERYTHING else is a variable. You'd think I'd have learned that enough on the race but ya know.......I'm stubborn.

Leo helped get me through a lot. He's my blessing.

Leo helped get me through a lot. He's my blessing.

SO, THIS IS ME SPEAKING TO THE GIRL THAT THINKS SHE'S ALONE. You're not, there are many in similar situations, please oh please reach out, don't wait. To the girl that thinks she should just give up on life because she's not worthy.... "he doesn't love me, who will?" "if he thinks I'm (----) then why would others think any different?" ......baby girl, you're SO worthy. I even thought "I'm ashamed in front of my family because I've LET myself go through this. stay in this. they'll think less of me for it." (which is lunacy btw) NOBODY thinks less of you darling, and besides if they do then they don't know what it's like, they're coming from a naive place of pre-judging (like I was).

                              "Why you gotta be like that?"

                              "Why you gotta be like that?"

Listen up girl, the devil is here to KILL, STEAL, & DESTROY. "It's not a question of if, but when." (wise words from Becca)  Literally 4 days after said altercation I got in my horrible car accident. Injury upon injury. The devil never let up on his plans for me, and I gave him legal ground to carry them out by letting myself sit in that situation. I was figuratively sitting in my own shit and didn't know how to get out. 

There were good ....no.....there were GREAT times. I loved hard and without hesitation. There were times of sweetness, serving, giving, etc. Then there were times of verbal/physical/emotional/ mental abuse, cycles of highs and lows. I'm here to let you know that you're love for him is so real & valid and his may be real for you too. But that does NOT mean you should stay. There is no "does the good outweigh the bad?" "Can I handle some crappy times to keep my life the way it is?" "with the good comes the bad", "I've made my bed, I've got to lie in it." "can't always run from your problems, you'll never have a life" "if you leave then you never loved him", "I thought you were different from the others."  Some of these are the things others said to me as I walked out the door. I didn't argue because I knew they were just coming from a place of hurt or misunderstanding. BUT that doesn't mean they're right. and that DOESN'T mean they get to make decisions for my future. 

 

Tell those voices in your head telling you that you're stuck to STFU and pack your bags princess. You are too too precious to be treated as such. You are a daughter of the most high KING. Turn your weakness into strength by asking God to make a way out for you & put one foot in front of the other walking step by step into freedom. The freedom that God has for you on the other side. Let me tell you girl, it's so much better. A land of milk and honey. A land of hope for your future again. A land of peace post trauma, yes it's here, on THIS side. Let your voice be HEARD! Silence isn't always golden. Give me your hand, I'll help you up. 

And THIS message is to all us women........abused or not, we need to lift each other up. Instead of pointing fingers and looking down on other women......reach your hand out and help pick them up. We would be a much better world if we all did that. We NEED each other, so drop your haughty attitude and humble yourself. Sit dowwwwnnn, be humble.... (Kendrick lamar) 

xoxo -Celeste

 

 

 

 

TWENTY SEVEN.

Today is September 11th, 2015. A reminder of the most horrific attack on America in 2001. aaaaaaand also my birthday. 

A picture of triumph, even through destruction of buildings and people's lives, we WILL overcome!

A picture of triumph, even through destruction of buildings and people's lives, we WILL overcome!

A picture from 9/10/2015, a reminder of God's promises and faithfulness. May He heal our land. Picture by Ben Sturner

A picture from 9/10/2015, a reminder of God's promises and faithfulness. May He heal our land. Picture by Ben Sturner

A little bittersweet I might say. A remembrance of the lives taken from the terrorist attacks, the lives given in service trying to save others, and then of course from my perspective, a celebration of my own life. Which compared to all of that miiiiiight not seem so glorious and worthy of celebration. But my parents and family assure me it is :) I'm very thankful to my friends and family for loving me through my hard times, and encouraging me out of pits. You are the true definition of support and I couldn't have asked God for better people.

Another year over, what have I accomplished? I had this BIG life PLAN to be married at 23, spend a few years married without kids and then have at LEAST 1 kid by the time I was 25, two by the time I was 27, and the 3rd by the time I turn 30, with a possible 4th scheduled rriiiiight on time of 32 (which is the oldest I wanted to be when I had kids). 

And now I just laugh at that plan. All BIG and MIGHTY in my controlling step-by-step plan, in which God obviously balled up that piece of paper and chucked into the trashcan as fast as Michael Jordan can dunk. But I am trying not to think of things I have NOT accomplished, but focus on what I HAVE accomplished by 27.

THE TRAIN IS COMING!!!!

THE TRAIN IS COMING!!!!

Ummmmm...... does traveling the world count?

I changed my life around from partying and drugs when I was young. I've gotten my degree in cosmetology and spent 7 years beautifying others while speaking life to them, building friendships with them. Left everything I had, sold what I could, and trusted God to provide the rest so I could go. Traveled to 17 countries and prayed for people on their death beds. Loved on orphans left on the road side deformed from Agent Orange effects generations down.

Taught in villages that have never seen white people or used a telephone. Sang Swahili songs rafting down the Nile River, right before my baptism in the Nile. Learned a bit more Russian in Romania and Ukraine, felt the needs of the gypsy kids. Survived India LOL jk, I was sick a lot though. Survived Malaria! Lived in the Himalayan mountains and hiked in them. Ate croc and kangaroo in the land down under, of course after fishing on the wharf.

Harvested rice in Cambodia and taught the children english and part of the east coast swing (thanks mama). Sock-wrestled in Uganda on Easter because why not.

Sang "aint no mountain high enough....ain't no valley low enough...." in an Indian wedding. Attended an African wedding. Carried a baby on my back in Rwanda (I see why mommies wear wraps now). I let go of all my fears, abandoned my beliefs of what my life was supposed to look like. That cookie cutter trickery. and embraced all God had for me. Stepped up into leadership (most humbling thing ever, trust.me.) and grew tremendously.

Climbed the ruins of Ankgor Watt Cambodia. Fed the street kids high on glue in Kenya. 

Came home.

Plummeted into the depths of re-entry and failed over and over again. but God calls those my sparks. ya know, the sparks two rocks make when rubbed together, a bit might chip off, a bit might scrape, but ultimately they get sharpened. I picked up and stabilized again, getting a job and a home (weird to call somewhere home), and even my dog Leonidas. I would say thats a little something to be proud of. So, instead of looking around seeing all my friends who have kids, are married, have degrees, nice jobs, etc. and think they've got it all......Im reminded Im right where I'm supposed to be. 

Thank you God for my life. Here's a cheers to 27. May I CONQUER my fears, DEVOUR my obstacles, and still laugh at the days to come. There's no stopping' this girl! (I so want to beat my chest and scream HEAR ME ROAR!!! HAHA!)

XOXO- CELESTE

ps- thanks ma for telling me my birth story every year :)

Nature at it's finest....

Proof that God's creation may be imitated but can never be replicated. That view though ;)


That Mercedes though

Drew and I arrived at 2 am. It was a loooooong ride it seemed. Mainly because I have the bladder of a woman 4 times my age! Ohio is home to pops and his side of the family so we were excited to see everyone. 

Dad and Drew (obv being guys) wanted to break out the motorcycles the next morning. like asap.  So I had a slow morning, because there's no way I'm getting on one of those things! I've ridden before but no thanks. LOL.

HOWEVER.... the Mercedes called my name pretty dang loud and clear! I pushed that thing almost to 90 in about 5 seconds but had to slow down because the road had a sharp curve soon after that stretch. Can you say adrenaline!!! 

We took a pit stop at Old Woman's Creek...

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During our visit here we spent quality time with Dad's new fiancé. We like her. :)

We went to the Lake Erie Inlet and walked the rocks out to the lighthouse...


had dinner...

pied pipers ice cream.....

then watched the sunset go down by the marina...




Cockpits and Joy

Rewind 18 years. Mom said Drew and I got a present from Dad! We were so excited we tore into it.........genius. It was a gigantic poster of a cockpit, the one he worked in. x2 (ya know, because you just can't share a thing like that)

We posted those things on the wall, drew wasn't allowed to be the pilot of mine, only co-pilot and vise versa. LOL. We were in heaven! Our family has a love for planes, copters, pretty much anything you can fly, and flying itself. 

Fast Forward. I'm 25 now and still get excited about flying, I mean, I once even tried to join the military to be a fighter pilot....I'm too short and have tattoos so that's a no go. (my adult hood motion sickness kinda kicked THAT out the door too!) Dad told us the night before we were going to an RC show the next day. (radio controlled aircraft aka not my cup of tea, but drews and dads) 

We woke up to a slow morning. Coffee with some creamer. Rye toast, egg, avocado, Jesus. We headed to the hanger to see these RCs that people spend like 6k on as a hobby, which annoys me. But when we got there I realized.....planes! Real planes, WW2 re-enactments, old music playing over the loud speakers (MY cup of tea!). 

Drew and I stood behind a plane as it started hee hee!

They had everything set up in WW2 mindset and even had "set ups" you could tour...

After we were done fooling around, Dad said we were going to go see his friend who was sitting across the field. I'm tired. I'm hot. I'm ready for home. We pull up and BAM. There it is. This beautiful cesna sitting in his personal hanger. like whoa. I may have started to salivate. LOL

Steve let us sit in it, turn it on, showed us all the controls, radios, etc. We got our own personal tour! It took me right back to when i was a kid with my dad's cockpit poster. What a truly great surprise!! God knew what was on the other side of that field and what my heart needed that day! It was an awesome time and I real truly enjoyed every bit of it (even the RC part). yes. me. 

this was us after the day was over. 2 tired dogs!

this was us after the day was over. 2 tired dogs!

Mama's Rocking Chair

I was sitting in mama's room on her old rocking chair around midnight after stuffing ourselves full at grandma's house in celebration of mom's life. Drew was there and they were talking amongst themselves as I zoned out with my full, tired eyes. And BOOM. This huge idea sprouted and I quickly blurted out what I was thinking, “Ma? I want to go on a trip around the U.S.” She looks at me, then Drew looks too. I imagine they were probably thinking, “How long this time? The World Race was long enough!” She waited for me to speak again while we stared at each other, eventually my smile cracked and I thought for sure I knew what she was thinking.

So I began to explain further, “like really soon. I don't have kids and am not married, so now is the time and it's my 1 year World Race anniversary.” She replied “Absolutely, I think you should. How FUN!”

And there the seed was watered and I started day dreaming from that point on. I "broke" the news to my boyfriend praying ahead of time that God would prepare His heart because that's not something any human is able to do. He received it well, reminded me of safety tips and said, "If this is what you feel in your heart you need to do, then do it." This trip means a lot more than fun or just something to fill time. To me it's like my own walk-a-bout only it's stateside this time. More so a spiritual journey, me and God time, Him filling my cup so that I can pour out to others.

One month later and I'm on the road again. Traveling has become a passion of mine. It's like cracking open a door to a small room full of interesting people of every race and culture. You smell the aroma, see beautiful colors, unfamiliar dances, and words that sound of gibberish. You want, no, NEED to go in and hear their stories! It seems like the ones with the most captivating stories have big beards and big bellies, possibly suspenders. You CAN'T just crack open the door! You want to run and jump on the bed, hands underneath your chin... positioning yourself to soak up every word as a picture reel scrolls though your head.

I'm writing this in the car while Drew drives. We are headed to Ohio after spending a day in Maryland/DC. And I look back and think about how crazy it all came together. All my plans fell apart, 80% of who I was going to see where busy on those dates, or out of town. Some even cancelled after I bought tickets (for good reason). I had to cancel my plans to drive myself, or use Amtrak because I took a bit of a financial cut. BUT STILL God made everything come together for my own good. But I had to learn all over again to trust in Him FULLY. (like everyday)

I'd love to take you on my Journey, so I'll be blogging all the time, maybe it will reach someone that truly needs that inspiration and a peek into that small room to ignite the fire within.

Or not. Maybe you'll just get some cool recipes, either way I want to thank YOU for being my GUEST!