What No One Tells You About Letting Go of Perfectionism

Do you ever feel like there’s something rotten inside you? Like something has “gone bad” in your mind or heart – as though it’s an avocado you let sit out too long or a half-eaten loaf of bread you forgot about? It’s an unsavory discovery.

Recently, this “rottenness” manifested in the form of a generally cranky disposition. I was bumping into things and frustrated and tired and not feeling quite like myself – something was off.

Sweet James was the gentle observer of my frustrations. Over the past few years I’ve learned to not blame others for my frustrations quite so much, but it’s still a temptation. The opportunity to blame-shift and deflect my overall crummy feeling onto someone else has its appeal. But I’ve done the blame thing enough – sorry, Mom and boyfriends of seasons past – to know that any sense of relief I’d experience would be momentary and fleeting. Instead, I usually feel worse than before – because now I’m still frustrated and I’m feeling guilty and embarrassed about my juvenile behavior.

So, rather than get angry with James, I got curious. Continue reading

“I’ve Got This” Or Why I’m Not Dating Right Now

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.

SparklerI 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

4 Great Reasons to Say “No”

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?

Desert feathers

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

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Even if you’ve never watched an episode of Friday Night Lights, you’re probably familiar with the chant clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. It’s the rallying cry of the football heroes before they take the field, and while I’d heard it many times, and it certainly sounded nice, I’d never given the phrase much thought until last week.

Clear Eyes_Full Hearts_Can't Lose

You see, last week I hit a wall – like a football team up against stronger rivals, I felt like I was being beaten down by familiar enemies named Control, Worry, and Stress. I’d been stressing about a situation in my life that I want to “figure out.” I felt like I couldn’t make sense of what was in front of me, and my heart felt both empty and clogged up with worry at the same time.

Then, all that stress found its way into my body, and I came down with a bug – both a head cold and a stomach virus. Super fun. Instead of giving myself grace and making space to rest, my first inclination was to stress and try to “fix” my way to being healthy – not the smartest approach – before my trip to Miami at the end of the week. I did ultimately stay home to rest, but my struggle was less with the state of my body and more with the state of my heart. I was downing water, sipping on ginger ale, and taking it easy at home. But I don’t think I would have improved as quickly as I did if I didn’t rest my mind and heart as well as my body. Continue reading