Jessica McDermott!

My Cousin, my Best friend and my soul sister. This is my Jessie, my forever friend. I’ve known her my whole life and absolutely adore her more than anything. I am beyond proud of her and am so thankful for her honesty with this project. Photographing her wasn’t hard at all, her beauty shines, you’ll be able to see it in her photos. She’s natural, wonderful and completely captivating.  I hope you can see that Jessie.
Written at age 22.
Jessica McDermott:
1. What is your idea of beauty?
My idea of beauty is probably totally warped and influenced by what I’m sold by the media but I am on a journey to fix my view of true beauty. In my head I know beauty as ones strength, kindness and courage! Beauty is more a personality trait rather than appearance. Although this information is yet to drop inches from my brain to my heart!
 2. Where do you place your worth?
Every day is a battle for me to place my worth in God rather than in my insecurities.
Unfortunately I haven’t yet got this concept and I find myself placing my worth in what others think and in other peoples success. I’m slowly learning that other peoples success is not my failure.
 3. What has been the biggest obstacle in your self worth journey? 
The biggest obstacle for me on this very long self worth journey is probably how others look.
As a mum I expected to ‘bounce back’ {as I was told I would hundreds of times}  but when I didn’t after 6 months I found myself hating myself and the way I looked, then I fell pregnant again! After the birth of my second I was even more harsh on myself and still am now. I find myself looking at other mums who did ‘bounce back’ and wanting to cry because I didn’t. It almost sounds stupid as I type it but for me it is a real obstacle that stops me from being happy and feeling beautiful or of any worth. How sad that so many of us feel this way? is our worth really measured by size?
 4. What has been your biggest achievement in your self worth journey? 
Not a huge achievement nor does it happen regularly but sometimes I get up put clothes on that aren’t PJ’s, do my hair and makeup and I feel good! To me that is an achievement! My goal is for that to be more common 🙂
 5. How do you view yourself today?
Today in this very moment I feel powerful! I am proud of myself and how far I have come. I am on my way to the woman I want to be! I feel beautiful as I sit here typing eating a cookies and cream magnum {YUM!!} at this very moment I couldn’t care what anyone thought of me! This is not always though….. some days I struggle to look in the mirror.
 6. What are 3 things you do to practise self love?
1. I do a facial! I always feel great after I pamper myself!! Y’all should try it 😉
 2. I sit and stare at the ocean! It makes me think and it calms me, when I’m calm I put things into perspective and I become empowered! I am inspired by the strength and beauty of the ocean.
 3. I write down all negative thoughts I’m having or anything I’m worrying about and put it in a box. To me writing it down is a release and putting it away is like putting it out of my mind. I then think of something I like about myself for every bad thing I put in the box.
 7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regards to self worth and body image, what would it be?
It doesn’t matter! At the end of the day no matter what number is on the back of your dress, YOU ARE BEAUTUFUL!!!! Happiness and health is what counts. Be happy, nourish your body and live for yourself!

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Do what makes you happy!

It’s currently 10:37 on a Wednesday morning and I’m sitting in a small little country town called Grafton while writing this.

I’m having the BIGGEST pinch me moment I’ve ever experienced.

At the very start of this year God has been talking to me all about change and speaking to me through anything, everything and everyone. It didn’t matter how or what form he spoke, it was as clear as day that change was in the making, it was coming. I waited with an eager and expectant heart to what it could be.

I guess I could say that since receiving all this exciting news about change I suddenly became very unsettled in my life as it was. I can’t really explain to you how this happened but there was a shift in my heart and from that moment everything in my life turned… I was coming into an AWFUL tradition period. From my Job, to my home life, to my friends… You name it and everything suddenly became different. I became so overwhelmed and didn’t know how to cope.

Normally, I am all for change. I’m the first person to embrace it with open arms. It’s easier said than done when your actually experiencing it for yourself though. These transition stages of life are crucial for our individual growth, they bring happiness, excitement and trust. I kind of like to view this as a life cycle of a butterfly.

We start out as a caterpillar, a cute little creature but pretty helpless in the nicest way possible. We then move onto the eating stage, when something is about to happen I know that I usually try to do anything possible just to help myself feel full and content again but a lot of the time we fill ourselves with the wrong things and it makes us feel even more lost than we already did. We then go into the most crucial stage of our journey – The cocoon. This IS the transition stage, this is where it all happens. We go through a season of dry, still and stuck – Literally. It’s a place of all things uncomfy and when your in it, it’s not enjoyable in the slightest. Suddenly, one day, it happens… You burst forth with wings into your new beginning, your new adventure. You are soaring to new heights and you are gaining a whole new perspective on your journey.

I knew this next step was going to be life changing, It was going to be my turning point. As the weeks went on I became less passionate about my job and more interested in other avenues. My faith was being strengthened. Throughout this period I have fallen more and more in love with my beautiful saviour and my relationship with him has gone to a whole new level. The only way I can try and explain how my love and faith has grown is that it does not matter what is going on around me, when I trust God my heart feels full. The good kind of full, when it’s a freezing cold winter night and you’ve just finished a mammoth baked dinner with your family and you’re belly is satisfied, it’s at resting stage because you’ve just nourished it in the best way possible. When I think of my relationship with Jesus I feel warm. My heart also feels excited. Think of those little party poppers you get out for birthdays. You sit with anticipation waiting to pull the string, you then pull it and theres an explosion but the joy keeps on coming because your graced with beautiful colours flying everywhere. Jesus is my baked dinner and my party popper.

My change has unfolded, not slowly though. It’s all happened quick, quick like a southerly on a boiling hot summers day. One moment everything is still the next a strong, uncontrollable wind comes. My southerly is taking me all the way to Nebraska to do an American summer camp as well as some solo travel afterwards. This journey has been so ridiculously God-led. There are so many little things that have happened along the way to make this journey of a life time fall into place at ease.

I planned to work up until I was going to leave for the States but God had other plans. He was telling me to move. I wasn’t happy in my job. I was unmotivated and became anxious to go to work. I’m a big believer of if you aren’t happy where you are or you aren’t happy what your doing, change it. The ball is in your court and your happiness is up to you.

After a lot of conversations, reading my bible, writing and praying I took a big leap of faith. God was telling me to quit my job, so I did. I QUIT MY JOB!!! I’ve never felt more empowered, scared, excited and liberated in my life. I had a shower thought and Matthew 6:25-34 came to my mind. This talks all about God providing for our every need. I was worried about my finances prior to receiving this verse. I kid you not 5 minutes after reading this I got a phone call from someone super close to my heart saying that God had been on their case for the last few weeks to give me a big chunk of money for my trip. I didn’t have time to worry about money because God already had it waiting for me.

Since quitting I’ve been travelling up the north coast of Australia visiting INCREDIBLE places, experiencing all things wonderful, meeting new friends, growing my relationship with Jesus even more and having the time of my life! This is what I want to be doing. I have received nothing but blessing after blessing since stepping out in faith and being obedient to him and what he wants for my life.

I really can’t stress how important it is to just do what makes you happy!!!!!!! Life is so short and in my opinion it needs to be experienced to the fullest.