Spring Cleaning

Sweet, sweet friends,

The past year has certainly been a whirlwind. Last summer, I left Nashville to pursue full-time ministry in Florida, and just recently moved home to California to be with my family in the face of illness. Being present with the people around me and attending to my personal life has left little time for updating Lionhart with any new content since Winter.  But thank goodness for the new life that Spring brings!

The beautiful truth is that no one actually needed Lionhart in that time.  I’ve seen a movement rising of women coming together to support and encouragement one another, both on and offline.  Encouraging words on Tumblr, honest blogs on friends’ sites, supportive comments, cards in the mail, and last minute plane tickets.  More websites and organizations exist now than ever before, aimed towards raising the self-confidence of women around the world.  So while I am truly sorry for Lionhart’s absence these past few months, I know that Lionhart is not alone in its mission. At Lionhart, we’ve always believed in the power of coming together as women and staying relevant to the times, so as we move forward and the self-love movement grows, we’re changing things up a bit!

Today, we’ve launched a simplified version of our website, with the mission to help women create community where they are, and to connect you to organizations, artists, and blogs celebrating women across the country.

When I began Lionhart in July 2012, I simply wanted it to be an outlet for women to build strong relationships with themselves and with others through the power of encouragement. But encouragement isn’t restricted to words; it’s a way of acting, and it begins with presence in our communities. You won’t always see Lionhart posting consistent status updates online– that’s because doing life with others off of the Internet gets in the way of social media. And we’re more than okay with that.

Our dream is for you to go deep with other women in real, day-to-day life. The kind of life that doesn’t depend on how a profile picture looks, but how your day is actually going. Show up at a friend’s house with coffee and nail polish. Invite the new girl in town to a local hangout. Write letters. Throw a What’s Your Worth party. Give more hugs.

We’d love for you to check out the new wearelionhart.com and let us know what you think! Under the “People We Love” page, you can find organizations and artists in your area who are supporting women locally and worldwide, and catch up on blogs sharing women’s stories. If you would like to add a community resource to this page, please shoot us an email at info@wearelionhart.com.

Thanks for your support and sticking with us. We love you!

With Courage,

Shannon

NEW VIDEO!

Our friends Taylor Tippett & Kathleen Frank have been working on this special project for awhile, and we’re so excited to release it! Share it with your girlfriends and spread the courage!

You Cannot Be Replaced

by Bethany Hamm

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year, I watched one of my best friends lose her father to suicide. As you read her brave and beautiful words below, take some time to breathe them in and out slowly. Chances are, you or someone close to you has been affected by suicide. Speak up, darlings. You are not alone in this. To find ways to be an advocate of hope, or to find help, please visit http://www.twloha.com. -Shannon

My wedding day. For some reason, of all the things I could think of, that is what always comes to mind first. My dad won’t be there to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. Granted, we had our ups and downs and there were some days when I wasn’t sure I wanted him to walk me, but now I don’t have that choice. My dad took that moment from me the day he ended his life. My dad won’t be there to walk me down the aisle.

The other day I went to call my dad. I wanted to tell him about the new nursing job I landed at the hospital he used to work at because I knew he’d be so proud. But I couldn’t call him. My dad took that moment from me the day he ended his life. My dad won’t be there for me to call.

I took my baby sister to college this week. My alma matter. My dad’s alma matter. We went and visited my dad’s old dorm, met friends he went to school with, even saw the church he and my mom got married in after he graduated college. My dad should have been there helping us move my baby sister into her dorm. Our dad took that moment from us the day he ended his life. My dad should have been there when my baby sister went to college.

I have learned in these last few months that these moments where my dad is glaringly absent don’t really get easier. I have learned that “what ifs” only make a very painful journey even more difficult. I have also learned, however, that our story can and has affected other’s stories, and in that lies hope and even some healing.

So to those of you who are battling the darkness, hear me when I say, you cannot be replaced. No one will be able to walk me down the aisle like my daddy was supposed to. No one will be there to answer my calls and celebrate my victories like my dad could. No one could have hugged my baby sister goodbye and told her she would be great in her first year at a new school like our dad would have. No one can replace my dad.

No one can replace you.

Think of all the moments and the memories that will be forever altered if you are not a part of them. Think of the weddings and the phone calls and the first days. Fight for those moments. Fight for your futures. Choose to believe that you are not alone and that help is closer than the battle would have you believe, because I promise you, it is. You are worth it. Your memories and your moments are worth it.

You cannot be replaced.

NSPW-FBCover

 

Happy Birthday Lionhart!

This weekend we celebrated our one year birthday! A HUGE thank you to Cause A Scene, Joshua Erhmann, Traveller, Steven Fiore, and Adley Stump for making this special night in Nashville happen.  And to everyone who has supported us in the past year– we love you.  We wouldn’t be here without you. Keep spreading the courage.

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What’s Your Worth Party– Castle Rock, CO

A couple of weeks ago, our sweet friend Hannah Simpson got a group of ladies together for a What’s Your Worth party! Check out the beautiful night below. If you want to learn more about throwing your own What’s Your Worth event or spreading the courage in your own community, visit this page, or email us at info@wearelionhart.com.

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Observations and Recommendations

by Faith Wecker 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the friendships I have surrounded myself with over the years. Some of which are tied to memories of laughter, joy, and strength, while others are interwoven with insecurity, hurt, and anxiety. I can look at an aerial view and be so grateful, because God has changed my heart and revealed some beautiful things to me about what it means to be a friend.  However lovely or painful it may be to begin to look for patterns in the way you exist within friendships, I think it is extremely eye opening.

I have done this in my own life and have decided to share some of my observations.

1. Women are so jealous of each other. It is not a competition ladies. The things that you hate about yourself, whether it’s physical, creative, or emotional, someone else is probably jealous of. It is a vicious cycle, and it’s ruining us.  Jealousy destroys relationships. Jealousy destroys trust. Jealousy destroys intimacy. Jealousy fuels the fire of self-loathing. Let’s put our weapons down, and retract those claws. Instead, let’s celebrate the things that make us different from one another. I mean, I think we can all agree that jealousy is just ruining the party.

2. Everyone loves differently. I read a book by Gary Chapman called “The Five Love Languages”, and it totally shifted my perspective on relationships. It’s all about figuring out the ways that you need to be loved and the ways that you most naturally show love to others. For instance, I receive love through words of affirmation and quality time, and I show love through words of affirmation. My boyfriend Josh receives love through quality time and acts of service, and shows love through acts of service. Do you see how at times we can get so hurt? He will clean my car as a grand romantic gesture, and I will be left feeling misunderstood and unloved because what I needed him to do was tell me I’m beautiful and whisk me away on a carriage ride through central park. When we began to realize that we had to love each other differently, God changed our whole communication system for the better. Just read the book okay? You won’t regret it.

3. We assume a lot. In any kind of friendship/relationship it is easy to stop communicating and start assuming. We do this all the time. “Yeah, I mean, she responded with like one word in her text… I think she’s mad about something”. Sound familiar? The truth is, assuming gets us nowhere. You have to start hoping for the best out of people, because expecting the worst is exhausting and quite frankly, it gives you premature wrinkles… which I definitely do NOT want. Can I get an amen?

4. Confrontation is hard, but necessary. Do not be afraid of confrontation, especially when it is a relationship that matters. Now, I am not talking about the kind of confrontation that is a laundry list of all the ways the other person had wronged you. That gets you nowhere. I always say, do not act on your anger or hurt. Give yourself time until you can feel at peace and bring it up when you can be separate from your hurt and speak the truth in love. The truth is no one likes to feel cornered, so approach tough conversations with love, truth, and care. It will change the depth of your friendships.

That’s it folks. My challenge to you is simple: be grateful for the beauty that God has placed in your life through people, moments, nature, & sound, and steward that beauty as best as you can.

So the Lion is Beautiful

by Taylor Tippett

I sit here, watching the rain fall on my back porch. I woke up, made my coffee, started reading my new read. The same routine every morning for the past few months.

But something is different today. Something is different, indeed.

If I could be real and transparent for a few minutes– I’ve been beyond discouraged for the past few weeks, and I really couldn’t tell you why. I’ve been discouraged with my job, with my community, with my faith, with my financial issues, with my complacency, with where I live, with my beauty, with relationships, with my future.

I tried to fight it off at first. Then I just decided to be real with God and tell Him how I’ve been feeling. I didn’t yell at Him, but I certainly had a few words to say. And He’s quite the funny one, you see. In the midst of feeling so discouraged, He decided to teach me about something I didn’t even think was a problem– something I didn’t even have in my mind for a second.

True Christlike, feminine beauty.

So the lion is beautiful.

…but how? How do I possess a true, graceful beauty unlike anything of this world I live in?

The question lingers still.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re so beautiful JUST the way you are!”

Oh, really? I spend countless hours researching hairstyles and makeup tricks on Pinterest, and I still wake up every morning to look in the mirror and be discouraged.  I am surrounded by health and weight-loss pictures and programs, and can’t leave the house without makeup on and my hair done. And someone wants to tell me I am beautiful JUST the way I am? Does that mean with or without makeup?

The struggle to be beautiful hurts. It aches. It’s doesn’t allow you to get up in the morning and just be.

But what if we lionharts traded in our pursuit for the cheap beauty that culture throws at us, and decided to aim for true, bold beauty?

I am learning that God wants that for us, and we want that for ourselves. Whether we can admit it or not, we are tired of being empty. We are tired of our worth and desirability being measured upon how fast men can get into our beds.

So we want to hold on to lionharted beauty. But how? There has to be some kind of book or 6 month program right?

 

He whispers upon me these simple truths:

The lionhart is beautiful because she holds herself to a standard of grace- not perfection.

The lionhart is beautiful because she ignores the perverted images of Hollywood and this world that demand her to be covered in makeup, stripped naked in bare clothes, and following the ways of society. 

The lionhart is beautiful because she is brave. She is gentle. She is kind.

The lionhart is beautiful because she knows how important loving herself is- for she knows she is loved.

The lionhart is beautiful because she doesn’t settle. She doesn’t settle for anything less than what she deserves. 

The lionhart is beautiful because she knows where her worth lies. She knows how valuable and cared for she is.

And so my sweet sisters, it is as simple as that.

Embrace your lionharted beauty today.

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