JennieGScott.com - Enjoying the Journey
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03.07.2017

  There's nothing worse than when someone tries to talk you out of your feelings. When they say, "You shouldn't feel that way," or "You're just being silly," what they're really saying is "What you are feeling is wrong." And maybe it is, but you feel what you feel. And regardless of its rightness or wrongness, what you need in the moment you feel it is understanding, not condemnation. Yesterday, a sweet friend messaged me, asking about a big project I'm working on. She's been there for me behind the scenes of it, cheering me along and encouraging me when I want to quit. Now that I'm very near the finish line, I told her what I'm feeling - "I'm terrified." Because I am. I'm terrified that it will be a flop, that my months of work will have been spent in vain and that people will reject the project outright. I'm scared that my project will not be anything anyone wants, and I'm scared that I'll never succeed and will only see failure. So I told her the truth, that I'm terrified. And because she's a wise friend, her reply was, "I know you are." She reminded me of some truths and encouraged me...

30.05.2017

  OK, ladies. Take a deep breath. It's time for bathing suits. It doesn't matter if we weigh 100 pounds or if we're 100 pounds overweight - bathing suit season gives us all anxiety, doesn't it? All year long we look forward to the fun, lazy days of summer, and every year we try on tiny pieces of spandex in brightly lit dressing rooms and swear we'll just wear mumus instead. Bathing suits were clearly invented by the devil. Isn't it insane how these get-ups can bring out our greatest insecurities? Isn't it amazing that fabric can reduce the strongest among us to tears? Every year when the weather gets warm, my sisters and I inevitably have a text message thread saying things like, "I'm trying on bathing suits. Kill me now," or "Do you think it's socially acceptable to wear a parka on the beach?" There's a great camaraderie among women in bathing suits. It's known as collective angst. Here's the deal: very few women feel completely comfortable in bathing suits, and very few women can walk around in a suit without sucking in their guts or hoping their thighs don't jiggle. Very few women can show off legs that lack cellulite, and very few...

24.05.2017

  When you decide to write words for the internet to read, you have to develop a thick skin. People are at their bravest behind the anonymity of their keyboards, and they write words that can sting. I wrote a guest post once where I mentioned Satan deceiving us, and the comments were swift and sharp. I was made fun of for believing there's an enemy, and I was mocked for blaming my problems on an unseen devil. And I guess I get it. If you're not a Christian and don't believe in the God of the Bible, it's hard to believe in the devil of it, too. But I do. 100%. I believe in him because I've encountered him, and I know he's real because I've been at the mercy of his attacks. Including yesterday. The story actually begins a few days ago, at church of all places. As I was serving in an area that needed extra help, I heard a whisper in my spirit - "You're profoundly different." Those words echoed in the silence of my mind. The words were not uplifting or positive, encouraging me to stand out in a crowd. They weren't praising me for my individuality. No, they were condemning...

19.05.2017

  The pressure is overwhelming, isn't it? The pressure to perform, to fit in, to measure up. The pressure to do it all, be it all, experience it all. The pressure to be the first, the best, to do the most. The pressure to be enough. I know how you feel, because I am one of you. I am a woman whose worth is too often tied up in the external. I am a woman trying to measure my worth, and this is the conclusion I've reached: We're using the wrong measurement to determine our success. We look far and wide, high and low, and into places with no validity to validate ourselves. We ask the world what it thinks and blindly accept what it offers. We listen to our culture instead of our Creator. Our culture loudly proclaims the measure of the moment, and when it changes, we're left reeling and reinventing ourselves. We're left wondering if the next measure will find us lacking or if we'll finally see our worth. We keep measuring ourselves with an ever-changing ideal, and then we wonder why we can't find peace in who we are. We're using the wrong standards.   Click here to continue reading this post over at Kindred Mom.  "Kindred Mom is a...

16.05.2017

  Do you live with the mindset of abundance or deprivation? Do you rest in the fact that you have all you need, or do you wonder if there's something more that should be coming your way? These are questions I've been pondering a lot lately, and I've learned there are no simple answers. My conscious mind knows that every need I have is met, and I'm striving to be like Paul, who "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (4:12). But the truth is that I find myself drifting into discontentment when I live without intention. The truth is that I often overlook my met needs while desiring to have others' abundance. The truth is that my mindset is often one of deprivation. And it's not necessarily about stuff - it's about relationships, opportunities, and even God's love. Here's the tension: I am not deprived. But I let Satan tell me that I am. I do not go without. But I focus on what others seem to have. God has richly blessed me. But I still believe He's closed his hand. This is the way of the earth-bound believer, is it not? From the first people created came the question of what God...

09.05.2017

  It's time to start thinking about what to read on summer vacation! Woo hoo! Is there anything better than reading by the ocean? I think not. So here are four of my suggestions for summer reading 2017: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. With everything in the news lately about North Korea and leader Kim Jong-Un, I've been curious about this country and its people. I admit my ignorance was strong! Although this book was published in 2009, it is still a great resource for understanding North Korea. The author interviewed and got to know people who had defected from North Korea into neighboring China or South Korea, and they gave detailed and unbelievable accounts of what life is really like for North Korean citizens. From tales of surveillance and starvation to gender expectations, this book is an eye-opener for what it's like to live in a Communist nation. I could not put it down! It's not dry or boring like a textbook. Rather, it is facts presented through stories, which is always the best way to learn. (I really want my son to read it, but there are some places with profanity, so I might wait...

08.05.2017

  Tears filled my eyes yesterday as I raised my arms in worship and declared the truths of the hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul." Because it is. It finally is. Six years ago, it wasn't, and I wasn't sure it ever would be again. Six years ago at this exact time, my marriage had fallen apart. My husband was gone, and I was begging God to bring him back. Six years ago today, my soul was struggling to believe that the God who is love still loved me, and my soul was trying to make sense of a God whose plans to prosper and not harm me included a devastating separation and divorce. My faith was battling my sight, and my emotions were clouding my belief. Every day I had to remind myself that God had not forsaken me, and every day I had to tell myself to praise him despite how I felt. Some days I succeeded, and some days I failed. When you're in the midst of a storm, your faith becomes more than a mere profession of words. It becomes a lifeline to keep you alive. When sorrows like sea billows roll, it's easy to drown. Some days I felt...

24.04.2017

  Oh, how I wish you would think I have it all together. But I don't, and I probably can't even fool you into thinking I do. That doesn't stop me from trying, though. It doesn't stop me from smiling a big smile when I really feel like crying and talking like everything's just dandy. It doesn't stop me from hiding my insecurities and pretending I know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing, y'all. I'm a mess and a disaster and an actress who tries to pretend I'm not.  I don't have it all together. You don't have it together either, do you? You feel like a mess and a disaster, too, but you also pretend that you're not. It's a maddening game we play, and it's tearing all of us apart. We put on elaborate masks and fake faces for the world, and we hide who we really are. We deny the weight of the worries we carry, and we refuse to admit our deepest struggles. We want everyone to think we have it all together, and we don't even know what "it" is. Here's what I've come to understand: when we set out to pretend we're OK, we unintentionally hurt those who are not....

20.04.2017

  There is no part of my natural self that wants to forgive. When someone has wronged me, hurting my heart and damaging my soul, my innate desire is to get even. I want them to hurt like I have hurt, and I want to feel justified in holding on to the anger. I want to tell myself that their behavior just means they're bad people, and I want to be OK with turning my back on them forever. I don't want to forgive them. I want to reduce the totality of their lives to their very worst acts, and I want to hold myself up in superiority over them. I want to believe I could never do what they've done, and I want to march on through my life holding what they've done against them. That's what I want to do. But I can't. I follow Jesus, and Jesus commands me to forgive. His ways definitely are not mine, and his way is always forgiveness. Unforgiveness in my heart always remains a festering wound in my life, and the infection it leaks always ends up making me sick. It slowly fills me with contempt and resentment, and the bitterness over what happened consumes me. Holding back from...

03.04.2017

  Take a deep breath, Mama. It's going to be ok. Whatever you did or said today isn't going to ruin your kids. Whatever you bellowed or burned last night doesn't define you. Having a bad day doesn't mean you're a bad mom. I know you feel like you're messing it all up, and I know how you convince yourself that you just don't have what it takes. But you're not, and you do. Being a mama is a sacred calling, and it's also a great sacrifice. Every day, we mamas give up a lot. We sacrifice sleep, clean kitchen counters, hot meals, and the certainty that we're doing things well. Because if there's one thing I know about mothers, it's that we constantly analyze and evaluate ourselves, and we obsess over our mistakes. And goodness knows, we make plenty of them. This week alone, my failures could fill a page. I've fed my kids fast food for dinner, fussed at them for moving too slowly, yelled at them for running in the house, washed the same load of laundry twice because I forgot about it fermenting in the washing machine, gotten irritated when they forgot to pack their lunches for school, rolled my eyes when they yelled my name...