Where have I gone?

Hi friends!

Just wanted to share briefly where I’ve gone and why I decided to stop blogging for a while. My original purpose was good, I think, and the true desire of my heart was discipleship. It was a way to share what I was learning and hope to begin conversations that would happen one on one…intimate, question and response, and full of lots of eye contact.

Unfortunately, I got more of a crowd response. Everyone and no one. Saying a lot but not doing very much. I’d rather be a doer.

With or without us, the world keeps spinning. God remains in control. We continue to struggle between abusing ourselves and thinking far too much of the wisp of air that we are. This tension – this humanness – is becoming more of a friend to me than it’s been in the past.

It’s easy to think highly of yourself when you are talking about yourself. Sharing experiences is great, but blogging is void of the listening part of coffee conversations. I really enjoy the listening part. There was no dramatic revelation to this, no mystical happenstance, just the quiet decision to walk away from a time that was good for a season, but was turning bad for my insides.

Insides are always more important than outsides.

My life is suddenly busy here, suddenly full. There’s life growing where there was none. A lot of it is because I’ve stopped flailing and just looked around.

The goodness.
The beauty.
The decency.
The trust.
The mutual respect.
The opportunity.

Life is good. And even when it’s not, it’s still good. I hope life has been good to you too, and I hope we can have coffee shop conversations during which I can hear YOUR story, why YOU have become the person you are, and how YOU plan to get where you’re going.

Thank you so much.

Love to you, and see you soon :)

Jess

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Filed under Writings

Connecticut

Excerpt –

My lunch is half eaten. There’s a delicious, healthy cucumber salad waiting for me on the table a foot away, and I just can’t get my appetite to return.

The shooting in Connecticut a couple of days ago has caused anyone and everyone to demonstrate some kind of opinion. Gun laws, the total innocence of children, and mental illness fall on the top of the list.

My temptation is stronger than ever. I can almost hear literal words:
There’s nothing you can do.
Look at how huge this problem is.
Look at all these opinions, people are bound to hate you.
Just relax, stay where you are, be comfortable.
Your family is your priority now, isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be? How about your future family, you should care for them more, right?

And until the day I die, I will fight off the temptation for a safe, comfortable, passive, ineffective life.

Until the day I die. Because you are with me, I will not fear.

I am so tempted not to post this. Forever beating down the coward in me. Hope you’ll do the same.

j

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Filed under Community, Psychology

Grateful

I am so grateful to be home. My heart is exploding into a million happy pieces. :)

This kind of peace has no price tag.

Being fully known and fully loved? Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

j

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Filed under Close to my heart

Lighter

After reading yesterday’s post, my husband came home and promptly told me it was like swallowing a brick. We are honest with each other like that. :) So today let’s go a little lighter.

This interview the other day really struck me. My favorite thing Rebekah implemented when she was struggling was this:

“Finally, I cut out every unnecessary thing and every person who did not add value to my life.”

Challenging, no?

Love,
j

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Filed under Motivation, People

Shame

Friends,

I need to sit down and begin diving in deep to all of the research that’s stacked up the last 5 years. The piles are getting really tall, and they vary from human trademark to human trademark. I am fascinated and thrilled by psychology and the human experience. You already know this.

Today I have too much to say, and not enough time to say it. The thoughts aren’t ready yet, there isn’t a clear enough picture yet. But what I can say is you have every reason to live in the light even when it’s hard.

Shame, the voice that tells you that you’re unworthy, you’re not good enough, you need to be perfect and strong and ____ and _____… that voice is a lie. That voice will keep you hidden in the dark, where it can do whatever it wants with you. I URGE you, guys I am serious about this. Live in the light. Trust each other. Take that risk. Don’t let the darkness win, because guys it’s when you are silent that you are holding hands with shame. Shame is nothing but a lie. You are worthy of love, you are perfect the way you are, you are good enough. Everything you are is good enough.

If we all really knew that we were good enough we would lay a lot more on the line every day. We wouldn’t be so hesitant and we wouldn’t be so afraid. We would LOVE people with courage. Tell it to SHUT UP guys.

Shame has kept me a prisoner for 6 months, because you know what?

I am not the wife I feel like I should be – the one who cooks and cleans in heels and makes it look effortless. That’s not who I am. I would rather be researching than cooking, and I’m not a quiet, nice gal. I’m here to express, to be authentic, to love fiercely, and I’m not going to tone it down. I am no trophy. As women I think we face a special type of shame from the pit of hell whispering that we have to be perfect at everything, and then we hold EACH OTHER to that kind of ridiculous standard! We applaud good cooking, and leave the work to the men?

Ladies, you have a brain and you may feel free to use it.

You are reading thoughts from an imperfect person. One who is dedicated to doing best what I do best, one who knows that vulnerability is hard but worth it, one who knows that there isn’t always a happy end to every life story. Life is hard work. It’s tough! It’s tiring. I get it.

But I’m done letting what I’m supposed to be get in the way of who I am. It’s tiring to live up to those expectations I put up for myself, so I am going back in and tearing them down. I will not be ashamed that I’m not a trophy wife. I will not be ashamed of my interests, my work, what I like about myself. I like my brain. (I like yours too, and plan on hacking into it for a living)

What do you love about yourself? Write it down. Give shame every reason to quit knocking on your door. Quick differentiation: guilt is being sorry for what you’ve done, shame is being sorry for who you are. I beg you to never be sorry for who you are. That shame will, if we allow it, weaken us forever guys, and then we’re not doing what we’re here for.

My goal, purpose, reason for existence is to help you/motivate you/kick you/love you into understanding that you are worth something. That what you have to give is needed, and it is enough because you are enough. If the world was full of people who know they’re worth something, we would live in a different world.

There are two things I’m sure of:
I am fiercely loved.
So are you.

j

P.S. My heart is pounding. Passion is a blessing, it is never ever ever “too much”.

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Filed under Close to my heart, Psychology

Forgiveness

My aunt is one of the coolest people you will ever meet. Sometimes I think she’s an angel. She makes you feel loved and accepted by breathing the same air you breathe. If you know her, you know exactly what I mean. Meet her, and in 3 seconds you will find out what I mean.

When I was younger I heard her speak on forgiveness, and it was a lesson that rocked me. Talk about offenses and forgiveness, and people are sliced open reeeeeaaaallllll quick.

For 2 years, it was a daily (I mean DAILY) choice to forgive someone who destroyed something precious I had. She stole from me. She manipulated me. She was wrong.

Wisdom has taught that just because you are hurting you can’t make anyone else hurt. Your bitterness is not hurting them, it’s not avenging them in the least. Frustrating, right?

Wisdom says to forgive quickly, to let offenses be like water off your back.

Wisdom says forgiveness is a choice. Feelings aren’t part of the equation.

Wisdom says bitterness evades you of joy and peace, leaving you ugly and empty. You will have less to give to the people in your life because a part of you is wrestling.

Wisdom has taught that forgiveness in time brings healing.

Forgiveness means total freedom.

Value yourself enough to let them go. When you give someone that kind of control over you, you are powerless to them. Forgiveness means claiming back your soul. We answer to one God, and to no man friends.

Love from my heart.
j

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Filed under Close to my heart, People

Keep me here

Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve
My hands to learn

I didn’t plan on this post today but it’s too timely to wait. This morning I am SO tired. I know that tired and stressed don’t seem like a legitimate source of blog post inspiration, but hey. When you wake up tired, you just have to keep it real. What’s the deal with WAKING UP TIRED? Thanks for loving me anyway ;)

Below my feet is on repeat as a reminder that life is small. When life feels so big, I love remembering that it’s so brief. Why is that the most comforting thing in the world?

Because when I feel like I don’t belong, I know why. When it feels weighty, I remember who carries me. I remember who’s got power. (hint: not me) When life is hard – not tragic – just hard, it’s never really the end.

He leads me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake. (Not for my sake)

God. This is scattered. It’s real though, so I hope you’ll take it as it is. My soul is huge. Maybe that should be the new tagline for the blog. hahaha. Knowing yourself as one of your best friends is good, I think.

If you pray, I covet your prayers today.
If you think positively/send vibes/share chocolate, that’s okay too.
Thanks.

Love you much. Really do.
j

Jacket & Jeans // F21
Cardigan // Target

Tee & Scarf // American Eagle
Boots // CRusse

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Filed under Fashion, Honest