words speak for themselves

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’ -Matthew 12:34

looking for the condition of my heart? just listen to my words. they speak for themselves.

i remember hearing my mom quote this bible verse to me over and over again as a child, typically after i ran my mouth in any direction besides good. i remember always hearing it, yet never having it “click” in my mind. you know? it wasn’t until i got older that i understood the heart & mouth connection and how powerful it was. if my heart was in the wrong, so were my words. if my heart was stirred with passion to help people, i would speak as if every person i came into contact with was an angel. if my heart was jealous of someone else’s success, i’d be quick to fiercely articulate all of my accomplishments in an embarrassing attempt to steal attention. words are simply the symptom of a heart condition, for better or for worse. now that i’m an adult, i recognize that and see how beautifully the bible speaks on this topic.

 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”

-Proverbs 18:4

words are not just powerful. they’re transformative. they bring life or death depending on how you use them. and if proverbs tells us that ‘out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’, we must watch what is going into our hearts. what types of conversations are we having on a daily basis? what music is filling our minds on our drives to work? i’m no expert, but i can get a pretty good sense on where i’m at in life based on how i talk about myself, other people, and the world around me. all i gotta do is listen. if i’m hearing more self-deprecating comments come out of my mouth, i can almost guarantee you that i’m struggling with my body image or feeling unlovable. and that, my friends, is NOT my identity, so i have to regroup and regroup fast. all this to say: we can use our words as the thermometers of our hearts and i think that’s a major blessing.

so how do we keep our hearts healthy? well, i don’t have all the answers but i have some tips on what has worked for me:

  1. first things first, filling your mind and spirit with the bible. read it. meditate on it. hunger for it.

  2. disconnect from toxic vocabulary. before you insult yourself or someone else, think of three things you’re grateful for…it might help more than you think. gratitude and anger really can’t be in the same room.

  3. replace negative music with positive music. this one is pretty simple. it might go against how you “feel” in the moment, but trust me you’ll feel better in the long run.

  4. walk into rooms eager to find the GOOD in people and situations. expect the best. you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

i’m sure there’s more, but those are just a few. i hope you feel empowered to speak highly of yourself and your world that surrounds you. check in with your heart and make adjustments where necessary. let goodness in, and let goodness flow out. the world is yearning to hear the words of hope you’re going to speak.

be well,

-david

David Elm
psa: you matter.

hi again. first, forgive me while my brain explodes thinking about how i can type out words onto a computer that other human beings from all over the world can read instantly when i press “publish”. technology never ceases to astound me. ok, let’s proceed.

if we’ve never met, hello i’m david i’m a 22 year old creative thinker + content creator + writer + podcaster and i’m here to tell you this: you matter. you’re probably thinking: “uh okay thanks random dude” BUT i mean it. i’m currently sitting at Philz Coffee in Davis, CA (shoutout to all my fellow northern californians) and as i look around at the 30+ people in this store, i feel a few things:

  1. the fact that i can’t possibly meet and get to know all of these people makes me sad. i’m a major people person and a good conversation is always one of my primary objectives each and every day. i’m the type of guy that leaves big groups like this wondering, “hm i wonder what those people are going to do with the rest of their day?”. call it strange, but i love feeling connected to humanity.

  2. i feel energized by knowing each of these humans has incredible potential and although i may never know what they end up doing with their lives here on earth, i’m amazed by the capacity God has given humanity to accomplish amazing things.

  3. each and every one of us matters. and it saddens me that many of us walk through our day to day life believing lies that are not in line with that fact.

what i’m getting at here is i feel a sense of personal responsibility to remind my sphere of influence that they matter. their stories should not be discounted. their dreams should not be taken lightly. they hold so much significance in the eyes of Christ and in the eyes of so many loved ones surrounding them. if we could own that as our reality, i think we would see abundant growth in our self-esteem, relationships, careers, etc.. just imagine how much you could get done in a day if you chose to reject the self depreciating thoughts that obstruct your creativity and ingenuity. this isn’t easy, especially in our comparison culture we live in. but until we all carry that confidence we all strive for, i’ll keep shouting it from the rooftops: you matter.

be well,

-david

David Elm
favorites: january 2019

hey people! i wanted to start doing a blog series showcasing some of my favorite things each month. the list is random; there’s no rhyme or reason to it. nothing is sponsored. here are the things i’ve been liking this month:

1) cedarwood essential oil

i put a few drops in my diffuser in the morning and it smells like i’m walking through the forest and it’s great. i even put a little bit on myself like a cologne yesterday and i felt like a lumberjack. who doesn’t want that?

2) group fitness

i’ve been taking health & fitness more seriously this year, but i was struggling to find motivation at my regular gym. a close friend recommended orangetheory fitness to me and i have been attending classes regularly (4 days in a row this week LET’S GOOO!). with the “family-like” atmosphere and the positivity of the instructors, it’s helped change my attitude towards my physical health and just fitness overall. there’s a sense of community and togetherness that makes pushing yourself easier. don’t get me wrong, the classes are NOT easy breezy and my whole body is sore, but it’s been an awesome experience.

3) “III” by Hillsong Young & Free

this album has been out for a few months, but i just recently started to shuffle through all of the songs. it’s a great album to sing along to and it’s great to have in the background while working, studying, etc. my top picks off the album: let go, highs & lows, days gone by, P E A C E

4) airpods

i’ll just admit it: i’m an airpod fanboy. they go with me practically everywhere and it just makes listening to music + talking on the phone a seamless, enjoyable experience throughout my day. if you see me out and about, there’s a good chance i’ll be wearing airpods. now if we could have apple make airpods with unlimited battery? please?

5) unfold app

i constantly get asked about how i edit my instagram photos and stories and this is one of the apps i use! i’ve been a fan of unfold for a long time and have been a faithful user of their templates for my Instagram stories (i buy every single pack whenever they launch new ones). with all of the new fonts and features, i’ve enjoyed trying my hand at some simple graphics that work well as iPhone wallpapers or possibly even printed and hung on a wall:

i hope you enjoyed this post. there will be more of these in the future when i figure out more things i like.

be well,

d.

David Elm
in the waiting season

i hate standing in lines. absolutely hate standing in lines. i’m a natural mover…i want to be going somewhere, doing something, talking to someone…so staying still in a sea of other people staying still moving forward only every few minutes feels like a cruel joke to me. i definitely wouldn’t place patience at the top of my list of “positive traits”, but hey…at least i’m self-aware?

this feeling of not wanting to be stuck in a line gets escalated by roughly 80% when it comes to life. there are seasons in life where we find ourselves in the gap between where we are and where we want to be. for some of us, it feels like this season never ends (where all my fellow enneagram 3s at? lol) and it can take a toll on my creativity and productivity. i’ve been in the process of learning to accept these times as seasons of growth and challenge myself to keep moving forward, regardless of the results i’m seeing.

quick disclaimer: as a man of faith, i do believe that God wants us to rest and enjoy periods of time where we aren’t constantly going-going-going. if you feel burnt out and have been striving, know that Jesus loves you and desires you to feel rest in His presence. this post is directed more towards those who are READY to work and READY for expansion yet it feels as though nothing is happening in their efforts.

life is fun when things are succeeding. but what happens when the momentum slows? when the bank account starts to drop? when you find yourself eating thai food alone on your floor at 11:30pm with zero invites to hang out? (pulling from personal experience here)

it’s as if nothing seemed to change except the results of your efforts. you’re working the same amount, yet feeling stuck in your career. you go to social functions, yet find yourself more isolated than before. how do we handle these seasons of waiting for the tide to turn?

friends, if i had a one-size-fits-all answer i would tell you. but i don’t. i don’t think any of us do.

however, i have gathered some important tips you can implement into your life when you hit these pockets in your life:

  1. recognize the season for what it is

denial gets us nowhere fast. acting like everything is okay when everything is definitely not okay is not productive for anyone, especially you. it’s important to recognize where you’re at so then you can develop an action plan on how you’re going to navigate it. the “map” of your brain needs access to see your current location in order to provide recommendations nearby. you feel me?

2. take care of your body + mind + spirit

eating spinach and going through breathing exercises might not change your circumstances, but they just might make you feel better in the waiting. if you hit a season of uncertainty, change, or slowed momentum NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF THAN EVER BEFORE. write your thoughts in a journal, go on a walk, attend a healthy Bible study, ditch the junk food and start eating nutrient dense foods, etc. there’s so many ways to take care of yourself. so please: take care of yourself! you’re worth the investment.

3. continue to show up for others

this one is going to sting. personally, when i find myself in the “in-between” seasons of goal and accomplishment, it’s tough to think outside of myself. but it’s important to remember that the law of sowing and reaping is still in effect no matter where we’re at in our journey. there’s something immensely (hi, i love adverbs) powerful about helping someone else establish order in the midst of your own chaos. feeding someone who needs food. offering your skills to someone who has nothing to offer you in return except a “thank you”. these things feel counterproductive to our personal goals, but in reality, this is the perfect time to extend a hand to others. helping others thrive is time well spent.

4. trust your Creator

while i’m all about taking personal responsibility for your life, i want to share something that i hope encourages you to take a deep breath and let go of perfectionism. i think the biggest part of getting through a difficult season is trusting that God has everything under control and releasing your burdens at the foot of the cross. Jesus knows you, hears you, and will work on your behalf. getting closer to Jesus roots you deeper in your identity and you learn how God is providing for you every single day. at the same time, i know that God gives us passions, skills, talents, and gifts to be used for His glory and He welcomes us to play a part in His plans for us. this season of waiting is only temporary, but the lessons we can learn in the process can be eternal.

wherever you find yourself, i’m rooting for you. i hope reading this made you feel hopeful and excited for your life because YOU, my friend, are valuable and highly influential. i know sometimes it feels like nothing is happening and everything feels mundane, but don’t forget: you are a powerhouse. your decisions affect those around you. don’t lose hope. keep your eyes on what matters most. you’re awesome.

be well,

david

David Elm