Authenticity

Sometimes I don’t like to blog because I know that not as many people will read it unless it’s accompanied by the perfect graphic or if the layout of my blog doesn’t scream “Jackie.” I get so bogged down by the design aspects, of which I am good but not great nor do I have the right programs. I get so bogged down by my blog not being pretty enough that I forget that my words can be pretty. Because I am not a cutesy, artsy person who always chooses the right instagram filter. I am not always wearing the latest designer or fashion trend because I like what I like whether it’s popular or not. Wanting to dress in your own style and not just what’s popular can be REALLY tough. But I do it. There are many fads that I never participated in simply because I didn’t like it for myself. There were ones that I did participate in because I like it. I own and often wear a pair of Chacos. I like them, they’re comfortable and they work well for my flat feet.I know it seems like I’m rambling but my rambling has a point.

It is SO important to be authentic. To be genuine. People want to see the real you. They don’t want to see the perfectly polished version you put forth on social media. There’s a reason people like celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift. When you see them in magazines, tv, social media, etc. you get the feeling that you could be friends with them. We feel that way about them and other celebrities, because they are genuine. They are real.

Wanna know something fun? Nobody likes it when you or I are disingenuous (aka insincere or fake for the friends that I know who get irritated at me for using big words in conversations).

People want to see the real, raw, messy you. This is me giving you permission to share with others that you’re not that great sometimes. This is me telling one of my favorite youth Sunday School teachers that the job search is really hard and it’s really frustrating instead of my stock answer of “it’s going good.”

This is not me giving you permission to only complain though. Celebrate the wins when you have wins. Celebrate the little wins as well as the big ones. Yesterday, I texted my sister telling her how excited I was that I finally made it through a barre pilates class without starting to black out. That’s a victory. That’s progress. It’s small but small things are important to you. Sometimes the highlight of your day is getting a good parking spot or getting in a short line at Walmart. And that’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s awesome. Celebrate it. Own it.

I’m learning lately to be okay with who I am, strengths AND weaknesses. They all make up who I am. They all offer me room for growth and ways to glorify God. A few months ago I wrote in my journal how I wanted to be like a couple of famous writers who are known for their words. I wanted to be big. And I just had this overwhelming assurance from God that he didn’t need me to be big. He needed me to be small. He reminded me that my role models were small before they were big and that now was my time to be small. So here I am. Living in a small state, in a small town, in a small bedroom learning to be okay with being small.

I don’t know if this makes much sense to anyone but myself but I think it’s important to share what’s on my heart sometimes and this is on my heart. In the spirit of authenticity, I am sharing this without a picture and I am letting you know that I had trouble spelling authenticity because I am a HORRIBLE speller. Seriously, I would have had a lot more trouble in English classes had I been born prior laptops and spellcheck becoming the standard practice.

Is anyone else going through a season of life that seems counter intuitive to culture? Let me know!

Advertisements

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Delight yourself in The Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Recently, my grandfather texted me saying that prayed that God would give me the desires of my heart. First, I’d like to point out that getting a message saying you’re precious and that someone is praying that God gives you the desires of your heart is one of the best ways to start your day.

Initially it put a smile on my face. And I am I very thankful to have someone who prays that prayer for me. But then the message changed from an encouragement to a mirror. What are my desires anyway? Are they the ones God wants me to have? Hmmm, I don’t desire inherently bad things like ultimate power or taking over the world. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind some shallow things. Like a wardrobe containing everything I’ve lusted over on Modcloth. Or to be graduating college debt free. Or to be in shape without working out. Although id settle for being in shape because I love working out and being outdoorsy.

Of course, not all my desires are shallow. I want to use words to show love and change the world or at a few people. I want to be healthy. I want to get a fabulous job where I can help make the world a better place. I want to marry a man who will romance me like my dad does my mom and Jesus does the church and who helps me show the gospel to a lost and hurting world. I want to have children who love history and knowledge and reading. I want to live in a place with arts.

But ultimately, I want my desires to be God’s desires for me. Because that’s what Psalm 37:4 is about. When you are delighting in The Lord, your desires will be his desires. So for now, my ultimate desire is to delight in The Lord more. I know I’m not where I need to be.

C. S. Lewis once said, “I pray because I need God. The need flows out of me, waking and sleeping. Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

I’ve been praying a lot this past week about the future and my vision of what I want it to be. I committed to praying about this issue everyday for a week. At first my prayer was, “God I really want this.” Then my prayers changed to: “I really want this but I understand if it’s not your will. But I really want this.” Then the prayed changed to: “God, right now I want this. But I don’t want you to give it to me because I keep asking. I want your best for me. I want this to be the best but I understand it might not be. And that’s ok because I want your will in this.”

My prayers don’t need to change God. They needed to change me. My heart needed to be calibrated back to God’s best. Maybe after a few more dad of praying, I’ll be ok with saying completely “Thy will be done Lord.” When I delight in The Lord, my desires change to his and during the process while I still have my selfish desires, I begin to become aware that they aren’t God’s best for me. Psalm 37:4 is so much more than God giving you want you want. It’s about reading on to Psalm 37:5: “commit your way to The Lord and do good; trust in him and he will do this.”

I am so thankful for a God who will give me what I want when I begin to want the best for me. Just like your parents wouldn’t let you play with matches as a kid, God won’t give you things you want that will burn you (uselessly). I am so thankful for grandparents who are prayer warriors committed to my future and inspiring me to examine my inner self… Never a fun thing.

I hope you read this and begin to let the self examination slowly begin. Stand in front of the mirror and honestly examine yourself. Be brave enough to admit the truth if you aren’t delighting in The Lord and his best for you. Then go out and do something about it.

21 Things You Should Know How to Do by 21

21 Things you should know how to do by age 21.

By a girl who is 21 years and 1 day old 🙂

21

21

  1. Don’t trim your own bangs UNLESS you happen to be a hairdresser or have exceptionally good hand eye coordination. I NEVER MADE THIS MISTAKE. Okay, maybe once twice.

  2. Cook something AH-MAY-ZING from scratch all by yourself. My specialty is “So Good You Wanna Cry Lemon Pie” and fried eggs.

  3. Get along with someone you DESPISE without being fake. You’re a grown up. It’s called being polite.

  4. How to take care of your body. Time to stop eating horribly and never working out if you aren’t already healthy active. Drink water. Run. Eat good food.

  5. Know when to take to ask for help and take advice. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t always do it all on your own.

  6. How to study effectively. Everyone has a style. Find yours.

  7. Do your own laundry. Time to stop bringing all your dirty clothes home to mama. Instead, do laundry for her when you go home!

  8. Know how to be spend thrift when times are tight.

  9. Handle getting your feelings hurt and move on with life. Be able to take a punch and keep going.

  10. Know how to bull crap a paper and still get a decent grade. Good, quick writing skills are crucial for a lot of things.

  11. Be ok with not always being close with friends from high school. Cherish those memories. Go back and catch up from time to time. BUT don’t hold onto idealistic memories too much.

  12. Form your own opinion on political and social issues. Don’t take the word of anyone as gospel without investigating yourself first.

  13. While this is something I can’t do by any stretch of the imagination, at age 21, you should be able to fix a flat tire.

  14. Also something I can’t do, balance a check book… in case the internet crashes and we can’t use online banking anymore…?

  15. You should be dreaming big. Whatever your big dream is, don’t be scared… you have the rest of your life for that.

  16. Know how to say no to something just because you don’t wanna do it. You do not have to please everyone you know.

  17. Spend time alone. As Oscar Wilde said, “You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.” Learn how to entertain yourself

18.Put someone else’s needs above your own. You are not the center of the universe. Treat others as important.

  1. Have your own interests in music, tv, books, etc.

  2. Handle a crisis without falling apart.

  3. Be yourself and don’t be ashamed of it. People like confident people.