JennieGScott.com - Enjoying the Journey
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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...

23.10.2017

  Humans are, by nature, goal-oriented. We are a people who plan for the future and work in the present for that unseen yet approaching reality. This is, perhaps, why we love our weekends so much. In our relationships, we know what we want and what we want to improve. I want to communicate my emotions better, and I want my marriage to be a model for my children. In our work, we set goals to motivate us when the day-to-day gets hard. I want to make more sales this quarter than last. In fitness, in faith, in housekeeping and health, we decide what's next and what we want to achieve. We're goal-setters. That's who we are. What do we do, then, when we meet a goal and are unsure of what's next? This is where I am. This is the space I'm living in right now. A place of uncertainty. In the last few weeks, I met every major goal I had planned. I released a book. I ran a marathon. I spoke at women's events. All of the things I had been planning for, thinking about, training for, and preparing for are over. They are done. The goals were set and achieved, and there's nothing huge on the horizon. Everyone keeps asking...

02.10.2017

  In South Carolina, you're never really sure when the hot weather is gone. A couple of weeks ago, we had a few glorious days when a cold front moved through, and I got so excited at the thought of crisp mornings and fall days. I envisioned sweater weather and boots, scarves and cozy sweatpants. But then the hot weather came back. With a vengeance. Ninety degree days at the end of September are torture. At that point you're just OVER it. Over the sweating, over the summer clothes that you've worn until you're tired of seeing them, and over sliding around on sweat-covered car seats. So when the air conditioning in your house begins making weird sounds three days before October begins, you know you have a problem. You can't count on cool days to keep the house pleasant, because October can feel like August. You have no choice. You have to call the air guy. Which we did. He left my house just a few minutes ago, and I can't stop thinking about the problem he said we have. The unit isn't broken, and it can still work. But there's a slow leak in the evaporator coil, which apparently is pretty important. He added some...

28.09.2017

  If one of the spiritual gifts is having a pity party, then the Holy Spirit blessed me immensely. But for real. Last night, I was feeling sorry for myself, wishing something had gone differently and beating myself up for not knowing ahead of time exactly what I should have done. Then the feeling sorry for myself morphed into being envious of someone else, and before I knew it, I was just the most pitiful little whiney-baby you've ever seen. Over nothing important. I felt like a failure, but the truth is that I didn't really fail. I felt less capable than someone else, but the truth is that I'm not. I felt I should be doing more and doing it better, but those are just words I told myself. In actuality, I'm doing OK. I'm doing better than I thought I was in the midst of that pity party.   Jon Acuff writes in his new book, Finish, "That's the thing about failure. It's loud. Progress, on the other hand, is quiet. It whispers. Perfectionism screams failure and hides progress." I have always lived with the tantalizing illusion of perfection mocking me. The perfect body, the perfect home, the perfect kids and perfect marriage. The perfect answers, the perfect friendships,...

20.09.2017

  Only hours before, I lay immobile on the operating table. Numb from the chest down, I could only watch as nurses draped the sterile field of my abdomen with blue cloth. They counted gauze strips and scalpels, forceps and scissors. They prepared my body for the birth of my child, a birth in which I would be a passive observer. Things were not going as I planned. Thankfully, I couldn't feel the incision dissecting my abdomen, the scalpel cutting through muscle to reach to my baby. Major surgery was done on the body I couldn't feel, bringing a healthy, crying boy into a world he didn't know. Now, they were asking me to stand and to walk. I had just been sliced open and sewn back up, and the medical team thought it best that I move. I couldn't stand up straight for fear of ripping the incision back open, and the epidural had barely worn off to give me feeling in my legs. But they were asking me to move. Medically, I knew their request was right. Moving after surgery prevents blood clots and pneumonia. Medically, it makes sense. But personally? I wanted to throttle someone. I wanted to stay in my bed and...

18.09.2017

  I've been praying a specific prayer for several years now. Years. But the answer still remains "no" -- or at least, "not yet." What do you do when you're confident the Holy Spirit has confirmed something in your life, but the time has not yet come? What do you do when you know what God has told you, but His timing is different than yours? And, even more, what do you do when you see someone else receiving the answer to the very prayer you've been praying? Can I be honest? Sometimes you cry and pitch a holy hissy fit. Sometimes you question God and beg to know what He's thinking. Sometimes you remind Him of what He said to you in the past, and sometimes you feel completely lost. I'm finding that trusting God is the hardest part of my faith journey. I believe in God -- I do. I believe He is good, I believe He hears me, and I believe He has a plan. But trust? I think trust is hard. Here's why: I can believe He is good, but I can struggle to trust He's being good to me in what He allows, answers, or denies. I can believe He hears me, but I can struggle to...

14.09.2017

  Tears streamed down my child's face, the frustration apparent. The frustration was clear, but the real issue wasn't. I couldn't get to the root of the matter. Was it exhaustion? A misunderstanding? Did something happen at school? What was really going on? I never figured it out. My questioning and probing did no good with the child sprawled across my bed, so I couldn't make sense of it. Which basically summarizes being a parent. I'll never forget bringing home a 5 pound newborn and listening to her cries in the night, wondering what they meant. Hunger? No, she just ate. Wet diaper? No, she was just changed. What was going on? Sometimes I never figured it out. I'm a person who likes to have answers. I sat in the front row in school, taking copious notes and comparing my answers to those in the back of the book. If I missed a question on a test, I couldn't let it go until given a thorough explanation. So even now, as an adult, I can't sleep until I feel like I've made sense of things in my mind. I don't do well with not knowing. But being a parent means often not having the right answer.¬† Where should...

10.09.2017

  We can always find a reason to feel badly about ourselves, can't we? No matter what we do, we can convince ourselves it should have been better, and no matter how well the day begins, we can always see a failure or a flaw in what has happened. I find myself falling into this trap so easily, the trap of believing I need to despise something about myself or my life. The trap of believing I am only and always falling short. The trap of discontentment. In just the past week, these are reasons I've been tempted to despise something about myself: Another mother's first day of school picture captured her beautiful flowers in the background, and my own flowers are all dead. I felt like I should hate myself because¬†I don't have a green thumb. I looked down during my 19-mile run and noticed the cellulite on my upper thighs. Even though my legs can run 19 miles, I felt like I should hate them because they have cellulite. I couldn't tame the frizz in my hair Sunday morning before church and I felt like the insecure 12-year-old I used to be. I felt like I should hate myself because of...