JennieGScott.com - Enjoying the Journey
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19.02.2018

  Grief has swept our nation, and my own heart is still tender. Last week, a teenager not much older than the students I taught massacred 17 people by shooting them in cold blood. Then he got a snack at McDonald's. Every day since this tragedy, the news -- both official sources and the ever-growing social media kind of news -- has been filled with a nonstop dissection of how it happened and why it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. I have many opinions, to be sure. The maternal side of me has thoughts, as does the former educator. The rule follower in me who sees things in black and white has her opinions, but so does the always-questioning woman who has grown adept at playing the devil's advocate. But today, the opinion I will allow to have a voice comes from the most important person in me -- the Christ follower. She, today, is the one who will speak. And this is what she will say: It is not enough for us as believers to simply say, as the wide-sweeping solution to this tragedy and those of its kind, "This world just needs Jesus." If I have read that statement once from...

12.02.2018

  I need to share this message with you without being critical, accusatory, or dismissive. I've wrestled with it myself for some time now, and I pray it's marinated enough in my soul to move into yours with grace. We -- the ones who follow Jesus and declare to the world we are His children -- we must stop saying "God is good" only when good happens in our lives. When we declare His goodness and proclaim it only in times of personal blessing, we give the world half the story, and we build them up to believe a lie that could ultimately bring them devastation. You see, they are asking, "Is God good?", and they are silently wondering, "Could He be good to me?" Our own responses impact their understanding. God is always good, not only when we see it. God is always good, not only when we feel it. God is always good, not only when we are blessed. Jesus Himself declared, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). An undeniable part of following Christ is being troubled in this life. We will be - are guaranteed to be - misunderstood, rejected, abused, and outcast....

29.01.2018

  If there's one thing I've learned about women in my own 37 years, it's that we feel immense pressure to be more than we can actually be. I'm not suggesting that we're not capable and intelligent and able to do great things; I'm suggesting that we are actual human beings with a limited amount of time, energy, and mental capacity, and it's time we stop feeling shame for having these limitations. It's who we are, and it's how we were created to be. Like it or not, it's the truth. We cannot do it all. And those are the five words we all need to keep telling ourselves: "I cannot do it all." Somehow our culture has created and perpetuated the myth of the superwoman, a woman who magically accomplishes everything she ever dreamed of and who stays in a great mood while doing it. Nope. She doesn't exist. The world around us expects us to be: skinny well-dressed intelligent but not threatening or dominating amazing housekeepers knowledgeable but not over-opinionated gourmet chefs who only use organic, home-grown produce   And it expects us to have: flawless skin, accentuated by perfect makeup flat stomachs, even after kids the wardrobe of a fashionista a side business in addition to our...

24.01.2018

  This summer, I will celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary. Five years with a man I never thought I'd find; five years of love I never believed I'd experience. You see, this marriage isn't my first. And neither is a fifth wedding anniversary. I was married before, for ten years. But that marriage ended badly, and we divorced. As I was thinking about all of this recently, it occurred to me that I should be afraid of this marriage. I should be afraid of what will happen; afraid of more unexpected hurt; afraid of it ending badly. I should be afraid now and should have been afraid five years ago. But I'm not, and I wasn't. And that's only because of grace. This is what grace does: it supernaturally erases what should be and replaces it with what cannot naturally happen. What should exist in my life and marriage? Distrust. Anxiety. Paranoia. Assumptions. But what do I have? Peace. Confidence. Trust. None of this is because of anything I've done, apart from following Jesus. I have not had to learn to trust my husband or to practice confidence in our marriage. No - I've been gifted with these things. I have received them just as surely as I...

22.01.2018

  Today, I spoke these words when I saw my Facebook feed: "That's it. If you don't bring me joy, you're gone." And I meant it. I've written before about giving yourself permission to unfollow people on social media, and today I needed to take my own advice again. My feeds had become a cesspool of negativity, judgment, misunderstandings, and deliberate attacks. People who don't even speak face to face fight via a keyboard. With every scroll, I became more irritated. I saw post after post of things that, in my view, didn't need to be seen, said, or shared through this medium. It's like I forgot I had a choice. But it's MY social media, and I don't have to see what I don't want to see. (And all the people said amen.) So I scrolled and unfollowed, scrolled and unfollowed. And my heart got lighter with every click of the mouse. It's not that I only want to surround myself with people who agree with me and share my opinions. I don't. I believe it's super important to hear different views and be exposed to new ideas. But that's not what this is about. (And I think real life is the best place to do...

17.01.2018

  I haven't always been a runner, and I still don't think of myself as an athlete. I was 26 years old (and 6 months postpartum) when I ran my first 5k, and I still find it hard to believe I've run two marathons. So the fact that I ran over 1000 miles in a year sort of makes me giggle. But it's also one of my greatest accomplishments. You learn a lot about yourself (and life) any time you push yourself physically, and running many miles at a time definitely qualifies as pushing yourself physically. The fact that it's a solitary sport also takes it to a different level. On training runs when you're alone and just wanting to quit, you really learn what you're made of and how much mental strength you have. Running, to me, is far more mental than physical. So in 2017 as I ran 1003 miles, this is what I learned: You have to decide ahead of time that you're going to run, no matter what. When the alarm goes off at 5 am or you realize you'll be running when the heat index is over 100 degrees, it's so easy to make excuses and talk yourself out...

08.01.2018

  There's not much I love more than reading a good book, and 2017 proved to be a pretty good year on that front. All told, I read 55 books, and a lot of them were really good. (Some weren't. I make notes on my phone about what I read, and some of the comments say things like, "Pretty dumb" and "Author tried too hard to be funny." I might be brutally honest...

05.11.2017

  Goodness, I wanted to be like her. I somehow started following her through Instagram, that wonderful and terrible social media app that lets us peer into the lives of people we don't even know. She is a lifestyle and fitness guru, one of those people who is gorgeous and seems to turn everything she touches to gold. She has a pretty large following on social media, and it's easy to see why. Her tiny body is perfectly toned, and her posts about the workouts she does show why that's the case. She exercises all the time, even going to the gym after her kids are in bed. In her world, it seems, there's no such thing as being too tired to work out. She only eats healthy foods, or that's all she shows, and her meal-prepped lunches look like a personal chef prepared them. Her hair is long and blonde, perfectly wavy and always done just so. She has a radiant white smile, her perfectly straight teeth glowing in every photo she posts. And I wanted to be like her. That's such a 7th grade thing of me to say, I know. But in her pictures she looks like everything I'm not, and I found myself...

30.10.2017

  My life looks nothing like the one I planned. My life doesn't look like most of my friends' lives. I am different from most of the other moms in my circle. And different is hard. In fact, I've come to realize this about myself and my pattern of thinking: I often don't just think of myself as different. I think of myself as abnormal. I think of my reality as a Plan B. I was married once before, and that marriage ended in divorce. So for a while, I was a divorced, single mom of two. Then I met the man who changed my world, and I remarried. So now I am a formerly divorced, single mom who is remarried. My children live with me, but they still see their dad often and spend a good bit of time with him. I am so grateful this is true. But my situation is a rarity in my circle. Even though the divorce rate in our country is at 50%, it is not directly around me. So I am different. Don't misunderstand, though. I am ridiculously happy in my life now. My husband is the best man I know, and he showers us with affection. He goes out of his...

24.10.2017

  When I magically and mysteriously become inexplicably rich, the first thing I will do is hire someone to clean my bathrooms. The two children I gave birth to have been granted that great privilege now, and their skills are still somewhat, shall I say, lacking. Their top priority is to finish, not necessarily finish well. And bathrooms need to be cleaned well. That brings me to the task I just completed today - the deep cleaning of a bathroom my dear offspring only surface cleaned. Sigh. It made me feel like a pig. I'm one of those people who hates visual clutter and who actually enjoys organizing. But apparently when it comes to deep cleaning, I turn a blinder eye than I realize. I got on my hands and knees, a la Cinderella, wiping down cabinet fronts and scrubbing baseboards. Can we talk about what disgusting dust collectors they are? And the unbelievable amount of hair I apparently lose each day? Bleh. It's easy to ignore it when it's not right in your face. But when you're crawling around at ground level, it's right there in your face. And it's gross. So like any woman worth her salt, I began the negative self-talk. I fussed at myself for...