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  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...


  There aren't many things I know for sure in life, but here are some that I do: I should have started lathering my face in Oil of Olay the day I was born. Strange things start happening to your skin in your mid-30s, and it's too late to prevent them when you actually begin to notice them. I physically cannot sleep past 8:00 am anymore. My eyes pop open even when my body begs for more rest. It's the darndest thing, and I now understand why elderly men cut grass at 7:00 am. They're up. Might as well be productive. You can't eat junk and expect exercise to burn it off. The McDonald's fries I used to eat by the pound now cause me to gain weight just by smelling them. A decreasing metabolism is real, y'all. Jesus, be near. My children's activity level increases in direct proportion to my need for quiet and rest. Nothing satisfies me more than spending an entire day reading.¬† The world doesn't end if I leave dirty dishes in the sink, unwashed laundry in the hamper, or a pile of mail on the counter. Coffee is a necessity. Finding coffee grounds in my cup,...


  Her beautiful face smiled at me through the computer screen, the perfectly-lit picture just underneath the words describing her success. From my couch in my den, her life seemed perfect. Clear skin, white teeth, and a business making her family extra cash. I was still in my pajamas, looking at the mountain of unfolded laundry spilling out of the clothes basket. I was trying to muster the energy to begin my day's work, trying to convince myself that what I was doing even mattered at all. And before my morning coffee was even cool enough to drink, I branded myself a failure. I didn't know her, and I certainly didn't understand the details of her life, but through a post shared by a mutual friend, I saw a piece of her world. And the piece looked amazing. In that moment, I let myself believe that she and her perfect-looking life were my competition. That other woman? She felt like my enemy. ***** I walked down the aisles of the grocery store, hurriedly throwing items into the shopping cart, desperate to get home and cook dinner as quickly as possible. I had failed to plan ahead yet again, so rather than dinner waiting on my family, my family...


  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...