Connar Joy Calligraphy

Overcoming: Part 3.

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Here we are at Part 3 of my “overcoming” series. FYI for all you grammar people, my “tenses” are going to be way off, so just ignore it, k? I’m gonna try to get through this one without crying, but the tears are already welling up just knowing what the Lord is about to have me write.

Connar Joy Calligraphy - darkness to light

I'm going to be completely vulnerable and confess something that I have been holding onto for over 14 years. I’ve only told a few of my closest people about this (very recently), but what freedom I have found in sharing it with some of my community of fellow believers! They picked me up and it was pretty awesome to see firsthand just how quickly the darkness will flee once it’s brought into the Light!

Here it is:

I have 0% self-worth. I think I am worth nothing and have nothing to offer. The way I view myself is unbelievably harsh. I’ve been believing some pretty horrific lies about myself for over 14 years. That is more than half of my life. I’ve been believing the most negative and hateful things about myself down to my core and it has been secretly and quietly making up every fiber of my self-esteem. It’s not secret or quiet to me, though. It’s loud and it’s harsh and it’s hurtful. But I am a really good at pretending it doesn’t bother me.

So, I’ve written about my panic attacks now. Well, those were the springboard to get me to see a counselor. I went maybe 6 or 7 times total, and honestly we didn’t solve anything related to my panic disorder. Lol. Haha. It’s fine. I did, however, decide to open up about how I have always struggled with self-confidence. My counselor pressed in a bit and got some stuff out of me that I couldn’t believe I was actually admitting out loud. She then told me to tell her 10 things I like about myself right then and there. I struggled to get to three. THREE! She stopped me after 5 minutes of “umms” and “uhhs”, then asked me to make a list on my own time of 100 positive ways to describe myself. Freakin impossible, but, necessary. Well, that was in September of 2017. An entire year ago.

So, I tried a little over the next few months, but never wrote a word down. I failed every time. You see, when something has had this intense of a stronghold on you for so many years, there isn’t an easy fix. If I’m gonna make a change in the way I view myself, I’m gonna have to be extremely proactive and work really hard. I’m gonna have to do like Cady Herron in Mean Girls after Regina George gets hit by a bus.

Cady Herron poison gif.gif

Yep, that. I have been letting a snake bite me over and over again and it’s time to “suck out the poison.” I have been letting the enemy dictate my feelings towards myself and it’s gonna take a while to get his grip off of me.

This past May (2018), I casually said something to my sister, Calli, without even thinking that this would open up a big box of immediate self-discovery and change. Here are the words I said as low-key as possible— “I want to join a community group at church but I need to lose 20 lbs before I do that.” She looked at me in disbelief and said “you’re kidding, right??” I wasn’t kidding and I didn’t see anything wrong with the statement I had just made. Although, if she or one of my friends, or a literal stranger would have said that to me, I would’ve had the same reaction as she did.

She then got pretty real with me because she could see the hate I had for myself in my eyes. There are reasons and examples of times where my self-worth has been knocked down, but the majority of it literally just comes from nowhere, planted entirely by Satan. This deep rooted self-hate stems from all parts of me— physical, mental, personality and spiritual. I could give specific examples in each of those areas, but I know y’all aren’t trying to read a novel right now… so I won’t go into the difficult details.

Are y’all getting frustrated reading this? Because I would want to jump through the screen and grab a girl or a guy who was writing this way about themselves. I would want to say to you “Don’t you see!?!?! You are this, this, this and that! You’ve got this and that, and you can do this really well!” But, when it comes to myself, there is a door made of the heaviest industrial steel that nothing is getting through. It has prevented me from being myself around strangers. It has turned me into a shy person in public settings. It has transformed me into a person who is fun once you get to know her, but other than that, standoffish. Not standoffish because I mean to be, but I hide behind this steel door as a defense mechanism because I am so afraid of someone seeing the real me and not liking what they see.

My sister then asked me a question that totally put things into perspective. She said something like, “Connar, when you say or think things like that about yourself, you are literally telling the God of the universe that you think He made a mistake on you. You think He messed up and did a bad job when He made you. Do you realize that?”

My sister then told me to start praying to see myself through the Lord’s eyes.

I have been praying for God to give me self-confidence for so many years and I’m telling you right now things changed as soon as I stopped praying for confidence and started praying to see myself through the Lord’s eyes. I want to see myself how HE sees me. This is when everything changed.

That night in May was full of tears, embarrassment and confession as I unraveled the inner workings of why I feel the way I do about myself out loud to my sister. Any compliment I have ever received doesn’t absorb into me. I truly cannot take a compliment, yet Words of Affirmation is my second Love Language?

My sister told me to start with 30 words for my affirmation list and that she would be checking. Sidenote: I will procrastinate procrastination so you literally have to check up on me or give me a treat or something like a 4 year old to make sure I’m staying on task. (*Disclaimer to my bosses: this does not pertain to my professional work haha*) Anyway, I needed her to say she was going to check my list in one week because I wasn’t about to ask her to. So in May, I sat down to write the list. I spent an hour and three minutes writing 30 positive adjectives / affirmations about myself. One hour and three minutes to get 30 words. I would look at the Thesaurus and think I found a word, then I would analyze it and say “hmm I’m not really good at that, so never mind on that word.” But, I did it. I got to 30 words.

The day before I sat down to write the list, we had our annual leadership day at work, where we come together and set goals for the year and also dive into the Word with each other. Did I mention I have the best job ever? But, since it was so fresh on my mind, I decided to confess to my 14* coworkers, exactly what I was walking through and the journey of self-love I was about to embark on. I told them about the list and how I had to get to 100, but had only gotten 30 so far. The next week, they gave me a jar. Each of these godly, loving, encouraging and amazing women wrote several words and phrases to affirm me. They finished my list. They were showing me exactly what God sees.

Affirmation Jar

I mean come ON. God is so, so faithful in answering our prayers and He is in constant pursuit of us. He desires for us to truly feel how deep and consuming His love is for us.

Even though I could easily make a list of 500 negative attributes about myself in about 25 minutes, I’m not, nor will I ever go there. I’m gonna share a handful of the positive things written on my behalf, as well as, my list of 52! positive affirmations right now (this is a working list that I am going to be intentional about adding to weekly).

affirmations

Joyful, Funny, Creative, Kind, Fun, Sweet, Talented, Good hair, Fun and loving aunt, Witty, Caring, Humble, Cute, Encouraging, Loving, Compassionate, Understanding, Hilarious, Silly, Respectful, Imaginative, Merciful, Playful, Positive, Spontaneous, Cheerful, Blessed, Non-judgmental, Loved, Gentle, Upbeat, Youthful, Good listener, Pretty blue eyes, Great friend, Loves easily, Heart for others, Good calves, Photogenic, Cute style, Strong, Faithful, Resolute, Charismatic, Obedient, Awesome, Beautiful, Worthy, Contagious smile, “Extra”, Bold, Brave, Strong where my generation tends to compromise

Those words didn’t come easily to me, but I have worked on myself the past few months and I choose to believe that each word up there is true about me.

One example: I have always been ashamed of being youthful. I thought I needed to grow up and be cool, like most other people. But no! That sucks. Put a trampoline in front of me— I’m gonna jump on it. I can’t help it. I still watch High School Musical and will get up and dance and sing along with every word. I will pull a prank on you the first chance I get. I am all for spontaneous, fun things and I’m not going to be ashamed of being youthful because HOW BORING would life be if there weren’t people like me who record an insta story because they randomly saw a snail on the sidewalk and couldn’t contain their enthusiasm?! I’m owning that now and I’m proud of it.

You have to look at yourself through a different lens and you’ll see just how great that quality that you once thought was negative actually is.

My struggle with self-worth is still very real and present, but the difference now? Now I recognize it and I call it out on what it is: I’m letting Satan have a grip on me. I’m letting him take my thoughts captive. You know what I’m not gonna do? I’m not gonna let him do that anymore and neither are you. We all struggle with self-doubt and insecurity in some way or another, but we are co-heirs with CHRIST. Sons and daughters of the most mighty King, the Lord of all creation. Remind yourself of that truth and then try and not be confident!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are chosen and worthy. You were hand-picked and given unique characteristics and skills so you are free to live a life full of abundant joy! There is not another person exactly like you and that is the coolest thing in the world. God formed you and placed you on earth for a very specific reason because He knew you were needed. He wants to use you for His kingdom.

Connar Joy Calligraphy Psalm 139:14

I am strong. And I am confident in my unique qualities. Who me? Yep. Oh, and guess what else? I’m thankful for July 20, 2017, because without that day of panic, I would not be writing this right now.

Your charge:

Pray for God to reveal Himself to you. Pray to see yourself through His eyes. The same God who created the universe, who made the most beautiful mountains, billions of galaxies, the oceans, the most intricate, detail-oriented God. He made YOU in the image of Him and it’s time for you to see that.

I also think you should make a positive affirmation list of your own. If you need encouragement, ask me to tell you 3 things I think are great about you and I’ll do it in a heartbeat. I won’t think it’s weird. If I know you well, if we haven’t talked in years, or if I don’t know you at all— if you need 3 things to get started on your list, ask me and we will get that list going right away. God didn’t have me proclaim to the world that I deal with intense insecurities for nothing!

Tomorrow, I plan on wrapping this up and I’m SO excited to share!! Thanks for reading!

Connar Joy signature

*Just realized that 14 seems to be a reoccurring number here. It’s been 14 months since I went to the ER and began living with a panic disorder, I’ve dealt with self-esteem issues for 14 years, and I had 14 coworkers listen to my confession. Anyone with some knowledge on numbers and their correlation to the Bible have anything to add? Because I don’t. Lol let me know.

Overcoming: Part 2.

Connar Turner1 Comment

Hiiii back again for round 2 of the Overcoming Series.

Connar Joy Calligraphy John 16:33

I remember a year ago, I called my best friend, Madi, in tears, saying just how alone I felt. Guys, that isn’t my personality to do stuff like that. I keep things shoved down deep until I either 1) can’t take it anymore and God is like hey let me show you what it’s like to think you can do everything on your own and bottle everything up and BOOM here comes the extreme panic attacks on the daily. or 2) I just get really passive aggressive because I am about as confrontational as a… snail? Don’t think that made sense. For example, in high school, a guy was driving out of control and cut me off with his truck, totaling my car, but I ended up apologizing to him even though the wreck was 1000% his fault. Confronting others about the way I am feeling about myself or my situation is no different. I will just not do it or I will complain about something in a super jokey and sarcastic way, so no one really knows that I’m actually upset. I internalize everything.

I was two months in to the multiple panic attacks a day lifestyle and things weren’t getting any easier. My doctor had just placed a diagnoses on me and I was going through hell every single day. I kept my head up as best as possible and tried to be as funny and joyful as I could through the brokenness and pain, but it was hard work. The enemy made me believe that if I talked about it, I was being a burden. He would tell me, “Connar, you are supposed to bring joy and never ever burden anyone with how you are feeling. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to know. Dry it up and pretend it’s okay. Your friends have their own lives and they do. not. care. Your family and coworkers are sick of hearing about these panic attacks.”

Well, Satan got me right then and there. I believed that lie with my whole heart. A lot had been going on and my panic attacks would not relent, no matter how many steps I was taking in the right direction. That’s when I called Madi, who lives in Denver, and broke down. I told her I didn’t feel like I was enough and I didn’t feel loved by my very best friends anymore. She prayed for me over the phone and then she rallied the troops and I got one of the most thoughtful things I have ever received in my life in the mail just a couple days later.

Hardmont+1 Journal
Hardmont+1 Journal

I remember opening the package and breaking down. Full on dramatic movie-style fall to the ground and cry out of both humility and thankfulness kind of break down. Inside the note, read “For when the days are hard. We love you Connar! Love, Hardmont+1” — It was a journal with a prayer or a note of encouragement from each member of the Hardmont+1 (that’s what we call our group of nine college best friends because half lived on Harwell, the other half lived on Piedmont, and the plus one lived on 20th.) I could not grasp how loved I felt in that moment by Blair, Kassi, Logan, Emily, Madi, Madelyn, Bethany & Peytan. The Lord reminded me so sweetly, through their words, that I was not going through this alone and that my friends still deeply cared and always would. Reminder: He brings people into our lives and uses people to draw us back to Him! The Lord used those eight friends as vessels to reveal His love for me. To remind me that He was right there with me. He was right there with me in the darkness, ready and prepared to bring me into the Light.

A couple things that helped me in the middle:

  1. Identifying my anxiety “triggers” — I’m only going to share one with you right now.

    1. My business: Connar Joy Calligraphy was just about killing me at this point. I was over-extending myself, getting super stressed out about the logistics of it all and putting too much time and effort into comparing my work to others.

“Learn to rest, not quit.”
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Above are two quotes I had to learn to make my mantra in regards to CJC. I do not believe the Lord gave me a talent and love for something, just so I can let it to go to waste. I believe that He gave me this specific set of skills to create beautiful things that inspire others to look to Him, our Creator. BUT, it was making me sick. It was giving me panic attacks and making me doubt myself. It was making me jealous, judgmental and had me constantly questioning my worth. I would be up all night scrolling through other calligraphers’ Insta feeds and comparing myself to them. “I don’t have enough workspace to do that. I don’t have the funds to do that. I don’t have the network of people to make that happen. I’m not good enough. I’m way better at this than than her.” If I didn’t get enough likes on a post, I would take that personally. The list goes on, but this business and that business instagram (binsta as I like to call it) was giving me the most massive pit in my stomach.

Here’s my advice: If something is giving you a pit in your stomach, STOP doing it! Take a break. Learn to rest. We only get ONE life, don’t waste it. Stop looking to screens for affirmation. Stop scrolling through everyone else’s lives comparing yourself to others. Stop it. Stop. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He’s the the starter and He’s the finisher, so ultimately the only thing that matters is your relationship with Him and how you are going to lead people to Him. Stop thinking about how many likes or followers you have, and Follow JESUS. He will give you rest and healing, and best of all, He WILL restore your Joy! Then, once you have figured that out, go share it with others.

2. Cut caffeine and get enough sleep

Caffeine and not getting enough sleep cause anxiety. And y’all, I’ve been running on coffee, Diet Coke and no sleep for yeeeeaaaaars. Cutting caffeine was hard. I actually have brought it back into my life regularly again and it’s done nothing but bring me down, so I’m about to kick it to the curb. Sleeping is also a challenge because I am a night owl and always have been. I could sleep all day. Like, lean me against a wall and I will fall asleep in .5 seconds. The second the clock strikes 9pm? HEY I’m awake! Doesn't matter if I only slept 3 hours the night before, my brain turns on at night. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is so important.

3. Medication

Never in my life would I have thought I would have to take two different medicines for anxiety every morning, but here we are. And guess what? There is no shame in that! I can tell a huge difference with and without medication. So, if you are struggling with panic attacks and this is deeper than stress or light anxiety, I encourage you to go see a doctor about it.

4. Wise counsel

Also, there is no shame in talking to a professional about what is going on in your life. I was nervous as all get out to call a counselor, and even though I only did it for a handful of sessions, I am so glad I did. It opened a door to a whole part of healing in my life that I’m gonna talk about in “Overcoming: Part 3.” Also, I work in the most encouraging environment where I was constantly being checked on by friends there, as well as my bosses who are both LPCs. Thank you Lord for having me there in that season. One more thing— I highly recommend the book Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado to anyone struggling with anxiety or a panic disorder.

5. Trusting that God will take care of me and leaning into Him in the struggle, instead of running away from Him by turning towards anger or wordly things

That was a lesson I had to learn quickly. In the past, I would have prayed about my trials and if they weren’t fixed, I felt like God wasn’t listening to me or that He had forgotten me. So, I would numb it and become very apathetic towards my relationship with the Lord. My mentality went like this: “Yes, I believe Jesus is my Savior, but no, I don’t believe He is actively at work in my life and has a plan better than my own, because if He did, this whole thing wouldn’t be happening.” Goodness, am I thankful that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) and that He gives an abundance of grace. I had to quickly learn that God was my only refuge in this season of debilitating panic. I will praise Him for this pivotal turning point in my life. I will praise Him because He already knew that not one, not two, not even 16 panic attacks would have me fully relying on Him. It was when the panic disorder would. not. relent. I had to lay the burden down at His feet. I had to surrender. I’m probably in the hundred count on panic attacks by now, and as much as they suck and make me feel like I am literally dying, I am so thankful for them.

Here’s what I have to say: The SAME spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in you and lives in me, so we can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who gives us strength. I refuse to be bound by fear. I refuse to be bound by anxiety. I REFUSE to be bound by anything the enemy throws my way. I will endure whatever mess is thrown my way because Christ endured and bled and died for me. I will endure because the Lord is mighty to save. The Lord is GOOD and strong and faithful to bring the work He started in you and the work He started in me to COMPLETION. (Phil. 1:6) He can and He will. All we have to do is surrender at His feet. What a relief it is to let the God of the universe carry your burdens and give you rest. What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer. No matter what trials we are facing, we can find rest in the truth that GOD has the final say. We might be in battle with the enemy every day, but God has already won the war!

God takes responsibility for the hearts and minds of those who believe in Him. As we celebrate Him and pray to Him, He constructs a fortress around our hearts and minds, protecting us from the attacks of the devil.

-Max Lucado, Anxious For Nothing

My panic attacks are becoming more few and far between and I praise the Lord for that! I still struggle with an attack about once a week which is nothing compared to the multiple I was having per day, then per week. I appreciate prayers and I am absolutely here and ready to be a listening ear and a source of encouragement, if possible, to you if you need me. I would love to talk to you about it. Just leave a comment, DM me on insta or email me.

See you tomorrow for “Overcoming: Part 3” — it’s a tough one!

Connar Joy Signature

Overcoming: Part 1.

OvercomingConnar TurnerComment

This is a three part series with a finale fourth that isn’t titled Overcoming. Also, feeling weird that I'm doing a blog series. Or a blog about something serious. Series-ous. ;)

This has a whole lot to do with why I have taken a long time-out from Connar Joy Calligraphy.

July 20, 2017: a day that sparked a major sea-change in my life.
This is an entry post, just to tell you what's been going on in my life over the past 12 months. No words of wisdom, or encouraging revelations here. Just the facts.

After work on July 20, 2017, I was heading to Austin with four friends from work for a fun weekend of Silos, segways, and so much food. It was my first time going on a trip with these friends, and I was excited to get to know them better. I had been doing the whole work all day at my job, then work all night on this business thing for a while, but it was getting a little too intense. I had been feeling tightness in my neck and shoulders, constant dizzy spells, rapid heart rate, and had been running on a solid 3-5 hours of sleep every single night for months. Of course, the weeks and days leading up to the trip, I had been feeling extremely dizzy, but chalked it up to lack of sleep. On July 20th, I was at work and feeling unusually dizzy and disoriented- but it would only last for about a minute at a time. Warning? Obviously. Did I listen to that warning? Obvs not. I legitimately just thought I needed to get a good night's sleep and all would be good.

We got in the car after work and headed to Austin. About an hour into the drive, I couldn't take the feeling of being car sick. I felt like I was on the Superman ride at Six Flags. It felt like I was "dropping." Up and down. Up and down. I held it in for a while, but finally admitted to the rest of the car that I felt sick. We pulled over to a gas station where I almost passed out, but luckily, I didn't. I continued to get more and more dizzy, and my chest was so tight that I thought I was having a heart attack. Next thing I know, we have decided to book it to Sweetwater (about 2 hours from Lubbock), to get me to the emergency room. I texted my dad to meet me there and that's pretty much the last thing I could do. I couldn't get a breath. I began to hyperventilate. I remember the last word I whispered before my body completely spasmed: "hurry." My eyes, mouth and hands were twitching uncontrollably. I tried for as long as I could to keep my eyes open, because I thought the minute I closed them, I was likely to die. I couldn't keep them open any longer. My eyelids locked shut. My mouth clenched shut. No matter how hard I tried to open them, I couldn't. My fingers, hands and wrists were contorting in the most painful spasm- I couldn't get them unclenched. It kept spasming tighter and tighter, I thought my bones were breaking. I could do nothing. I could say nothing. I remember pleading in my head for the Lord to spare my life. Over and over again. It wasn't peaceful. I could hear my friends trying to find the entrance to the Sweetwater, TX emergency room. (SIDENOTE: DO NOT EVER GO THERE IF YOU CAN HELP IT. THE LIVING WORST.) There was panic all around, yet their voices were so comforting and calming to me. In my mind, I was going to die. I didn't know what was going on. I had never experienced anything like this in my life. My final thought before I was being wheeled into the ER was "how are they going to tell my nieces that Kiki is dead?" Yiiiiikes haha. So, about 54 unsuccessful IV attempts later, I was being pumped with all the things to get my muscles to relax. 30 minutes later, I was able to start to open my eyes. I saw my amazing, sweet, strong and caring friends standing around me. I saw the 14* year old doctor. I saw the 18* year old murse walk in and say my Potassium is at an extremely low 2.3 (should be a 3.5-5 at all times). My parents got there about 30 minutes after that. Things weren't great.

So, like, obviously, I didn't end up going to Austin.

Next up, came the "episodes" -- these were panic attacks 6-8 times a day that would last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. We didn't know they were panic attacks at the time. My doctor did not think what happened to me that day or any of the days after could possibly be related to anxiety, so I had every test under the sun done. All levels were coming back fine. I wore a heart monitor for 10 days and it was fine. Did a stress test, two EKGs, an MRI on my brain, pulmonary function tests, all the labs. Everything was fine.

First diagnoses: Vertigo and Hyperventilation Syndrome. First, what in the world? I get the vertigo thing because I was v dizzy all the time. But I only hyperventilated the one time on July 20th when I LITERALLY thought I was about to close my eyes and DIE. Obviously you don't breathe well when you're high-key dying. Long story short, I hyperventilate all the time, even when I don't realize it. Finding that out was really cool. The hyperventilating is what caused my full body spasm and Potassium and Magnesium to get so low.

Panic Disorder | Connar Joy Calligraphy

Next diagnoses: Panic Disorder. How fun is that to admit out loud?! I thought I had a little bit of anxiety before, but I'm telling you right now, it was NOTHING compared to the inner turmoil that has been weighing me down the past year. I am constantly feeling nauseous, my chest is always tight, I black out and see floaters in my eyes daily, my breathing is shallow, I have a permanent pit in my stomach, and I get dizzy often. That's anxiety. Panic attacks are different. They hit hard and fast. And they are no joke. With each one, I have gotten better with coping, but that doesn't mean I don't feel like I'm about to fall over and die at any given moment.

Feeling super vulnerable here, sharing my panic disorder with the world. But, maybe more people are in the same boat as me. I take medication. Hopefully it’s not forever, but I’ll take it as long as it helps me. I went to a few counseling sessions in the Fall of 2017 to try to help. I douse myself in Young Living’s Stress Away essential oil. And I cut caffeine as much as possible, which if we’re being honest, was the worst part because I love Diet Coke more than I think you know. Also, I try to get more than 6 hours of sleep.. workin’ on that one still because I’m a night owl all the way.

Hey, thanks for reading all that. Now you know just the facts of what is up with me haha. It’s a REALLY fun time let me tell ya. But my next blog posts are about coping and overcoming and faith and strength. I really hope you keep up!

Xoxo Connar

Happy Birthday, Clarke!

Connar Turner1 Comment
Clarke 7th Birthday.JPG

Seven years old. I'm sorry, what? I wrote about 75% of this blog post about Clarke over two years ago, and recently came across it in my drafts. Decided to post it today for her birthday. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the first of my seven nieces and nephews! P.S. Get ready for one of these blogs for each of my seven nieces and nephews on their seventh birthdays. :)

Clarkie has been my best friend since the second I found out about her. I remember being in the freshmen dorms when my sister, Calli, called to tell me the great news. She was pregnant! I screamed and cried and couldn't believe that i was going to be an aunt! I immediately told everyone on my hall and then everyone on campus. Then, immediately was told by my sister that I had to keep it a secret. Oops.

My life changed after Clarke was born. While Calli was pregnant, I was so excited for what was to come, but I don't think I fully could comprehend just how involved i would be in Clarke's life. She instantly became a part of us. I could not be more obsessed. She was born at the beginning of June and I spent every single day with her until I had to go back to school in August. My friends can attest that I was (and still am) the proudest aunt. It was my favorite thing about myself. I had a niece!

Fast facts about Clarke.

Nickname: Clarkie.

Favorite Things: The Lord, princesses, dress-ups, fairies, make-believe, drawing, performing (The Greatest Showman and High School Musical, mostly), pink, Barbie and Disney Princess movies, and her family.

About: She is a little girl made of magic. She is beautiful, kind, smart, encouraging, and so very loving. She has a heart of gold. She has a zeal for life that we often wish we could bottle up. She gets excited about the most mundane things. She makes everyone around her feel important, happy, and well-loved. She's funny, too. She tries to act like a teenager, and the words and phrases she uses are so "big girl" that it has us laughing daily. I love to be sarcastic and (playfully) sassy with her. Ugghhh she's the best, y'all.

Clarke and I have our very own song. She made it up a couple weeks before I moved to Dallas in 2014 (she had just turned three) and we sing it to each other every time we're together.

"Kiki and Clarkie are best friends forever - even though we may not always be together - we're together in the spirit and we're really, really, really, really cool."

Goodness, I could go on forever about how great of a child Clarke is. I'll leave you with the most important thing about her- her love for the Lord. Clarke has been memorizing scripture since the day she could talk, and it's so impressive. She knows every single book of the Bible, in order, and did not use a song to learn them. She wakes up before the rest of her family and writes out the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm at the kitchen table. Her Biblical memorization puts me to shame. Her prayers bring us to tears. Her insight on faith and how the Lord works in our lives is unbelievable. She is truly is a girl after God's own heart. She is a leader, not only because she is the oldest of the nieces and nephews, but because she lets her Light shine so bright, people are drawn to her. Her love for the Lord and for others is infectious. And she is just SEVEN.

As much as it pains me to watch her grow and change from a baby, to a toddler, to a little girl, to a big girl- I am so excited to see what God has in store for this extraordinary child.

I love you, Clarke Elise. More than you could ever know! Besties forever!!

Xoxo, Kiki

The Christmas Pop-Up Shop

Connar Joy Christmas ShopConnar TurnerComment
ConnarJoyChristmasShop.png

BEYOND excited for this little online pop-up shop! The #connarjoychristmasshop is purely Christmas themed and I'm fa-la-la-la-ling in love with every single product offered.

Below is a summary of the products offered.

1. Shirts

Everybody needs a handful of festive Christmas shirts for the holiday season. These happen to be the actual cutest Christmas shirts I've seen.

Connar Joy Calligraphy Merry & Bright Shirt

"May your days be Merry & Bright" is a long sleeve Comfort Colors, so it's extra thick and extra comfy. Like, if you and a friend are both wearing this shirt and you happen to be out in the cold, you can look at each other and sing, "our cheeks are bright and rosy and COMFY COZY are we" and it will actually be true. Comfy and cozy. This shirt is v festive and I'm a big fan. Pair it with tights & tennis shoes for running Christmas errands. Or running. But, who runs during the holidays? You should be shopping or eating or watching Hallmark Christmas movies. You could also pair it with jeans, boots and an infinity scarf. Girl, you're already looking good and I can't even see you.

Connar Joy Calligraphy "Let your heart be light" Christmas shirt

"Let your heart be light" is super soft short sleeve v-neck. I don't know y'all, I think this might be my favorite graphic tee I've ever owned. It's different from any Christmas shirt I've ever seen, and I'm 100% contemplating wearing it year-round. I live in Texas and you never know when you're going to get a 90° December day, so short sleeve comes in handy. If it's a chilly outside, I'd pair it with a cardigan or jacket, statement earrings, and booties. You literally can't go wrong.

Either way, these two shirts will be my uniform for the entire Christmas season, so don't you worry about me worrying about what I'm going to wear every day because I already know. You should already know what you're going to wear too. Hint: these shirts. But only buy them if you like receiving compliments.

2. Christmas Prints

I love a good print and it's time for you to deck your halls with these CJC Christmas prints! Frame or stack these festive prints in a vignette with other Christmas decor in your home or go minimal and simply hang a print on a blank wall. Put one in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, etc. Make a gallery wall out of these babies. 'Tis the season to be jolly and go all out, y'all. The possibilities are endless on what you can do with a cute Christmas print. Or six. These also make great gifts! Each print is locally printed on ultra thick, very high quality stock and come packaged with chipboard in a clear sleeve. You can't find anything like these anywhere else but in the Connar Joy Christmas Shop.

3. Custom Calligraphed Christmas Prints

There's a very limited number of these for a reason. Something this good takes time. I'm offering completely custom Christmas prints and we're all pretty excited about it. Whatever you want, in six words or less, I will hand calligraph it on the print of your choice. These are on a thick watercolor paper. The process is super easy and turnaround time is just a couple days! Below are two different reasons you should buy these:

1. Make it real personal and it becomes an instant heirloom keepsake that you take out at Christmas for years to come. Think about next year when you're getting your Christmas out and see your custom piece-- you'll 100% let out a squeal and then pat yourself on the back for this.

2. Best gift ever? Yes? Yes. Everybody loves personalized things, so hook them up during the holidays. This is what they'll (probably) say upon receiving-- "WHAT! Wait. Wait. Hold on! You hired a CALLIGRAPHER to make me a CUSTOM Christmas gift!?!? AND I can use it for the rest of my life as Christmas decor?! You are unreal and I don't deserve you as a friend. I don't deserve you as my Secret Santa. How can I repay you?" Then you will say-- "Don't worry about it. The process was insanely easy. But you can surprise me and order one for me. Here's the link... connarjoy.com/christmasshop."

All in all, the #connarjoychristmasshop is lit. Lit like the most festive roof on the block.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my products! I'm excited to offer this little pop-up shop as a glimpse of what is to come in a FULL shop in 2018. I will be packaging and shipping as fast as I can, so you can get your Christmas goodies as soon in the season as possible! Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

Xoxo, Connar