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  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...


  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...


  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...


  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...