Your deadlines are pressing in on you like a heavy weight, you’ve run out of clean underwear, and you think your marriage or your dating life (or lack of one) just might kill you.
Life can feel overwhelming. That’s why I write. I write for the men and women who need to know that even though life feels out of control, that might actually be a good thing – there might be something to learn or a way to grow and stretch beyond the present trials. I write for people who want to find purpose in the small and big, the light and dark, the mountains and the molehills. Purpose that stems from who they are, not what they do.
I write for the woman who sometimes struggles to see the beauty in life – especially when she looks in the mirror. She’s so caught up in the trials and frustrations, and I just want to tell her: It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Because these things are hard. But 1) God is present with you, and if you let him come close to you in this state of frustration, you’re going to find a peace and joy that you didn’t know was possible. And 2) these circumstances will change you. You’re in the crucible. So rather than trying to find a way OUT or AROUND, look for the way THROUGH and the gifts you’ll find IN that place.
Basically, I write for me, because those are truths I need to remind myself of daily. And I write for you. I write for the women I know and love – even if I’ve never met them – who want to believe there’s grace in the messiness of their lives. Who are tired of the constant striving and hustling for their self-worth. Who want to experience joy and love that’s not tied to their performance or the level of perfection they’ve achieved in their bodies or their work. Who want to press through the challenges and come out stronger on the other side. Continue reading
Have you ever had a dream that felt so real it changed the way you acted the next day? I’ve had dreams about people where they did something awful to me, and I woke up feeling bitter toward them. Even though I knew the dream wasn’t real, it took a while to shake.
Our thoughts are much like that. They create a reality that impacts our days – and they can be really hard to shake. It’s hard to say no to something that feels so real. And yet, learning to take control of our thoughts – to filter through the good and the bad – profoundly influences our hearts and actions.
For the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking about 4 Great Reasons to Say No, and 4 Really Bad Ones. To recap, here they are.
4 Great Reasons to Say No
- You Know What You Do and Don’t Want
- You Have Healthy Margins
- You Know Your Limitations
- You Respect the Person on the Other End
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Say No
- You’re Afraid
- You’re Withholding from Others
- You’ve Lost Your Drive
- You’re Waiting for Perfection
This week I’m touching on another important “no” – the times you need to say no to yourself. More specifically, no to the things you’re telling yourself. Continue reading
Last week, we looked at 4 Great Reasons to Say “No.” If you haven’t read that post yet, take a minute to go back and get the history before reading below.
Back? Okay. Just as there are some truly life-giving reasons for saying no, there are also a few that are actually holding us back. Which of these is most true for you?
- You’re Afraid
I’ve said no to so many things in my life that I was afraid of: sports, relationships, hamburgers. Yes, I was afraid of hamburgers. (It’s a texture thing.) As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to try things that initially scared me – sushi, hiking, speaking in front of hundreds of people – and in doing so, I’ve become much more clear about what I do and don’t want (see point 1 under 4 Great Reasons to Say “No”). Continue reading
Recently a friend and I were talking about when we first knew we were grown-ups…er, mature adults. When we knew we were women and not just girls. For me, it was when I bought my first bed. I had been living in San Francisco for nearly a year, sleeping on a mattress on the floor because it seemed more practical. I was in a relationship that was headed toward marriage. We were already talking engagement, so why bother buying a bed that would just fit me – not me and the guy I would be marring soon?
Well, even after our short-lived engagement ended and our relationship dissolved, it took me months to make the plunge and buy my own bed. There was a part of me that didn’t want to admit my relationship had “failed,” that I wasn’t getting married, that I was on my own.
But as I started to heal – thanks in part to time and good counsel – I realized I needed to embrace my single status instead of longing for the path I had thought I was on. The path down the aisle. If I didn’t, I’d never move on, I’d never grow.
So, I shopped around for a bed and bought the one I wanted – the pillow-top, full-sized, just-enough-room-for-me bed. After handing over my credit card and signing for the delivery fee, I felt an incredible sense of empowerment knowing that I could take care of myself. Continue reading