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31.08.2016

  OK, son. You're in that weird stage right now where you're technically not a teenager yet, but you're not a little kid anymore, either. I know it's super strange. Your body is changing, your voice is sounding different, and your brain is struggling to keep up. The next few years are going to be different for both you and for me. I've been thinking about some things you should know, and while this list is definitely not exhaustive, I figure it's a good start. Deodorant and foot washing are not optional. Ever. They're just not. As your body changes (you'll learn this in sex-ed), your hormones go berserk, and you. will. stink. You already do. (No offense.) It's not your fault, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, but Lord have mercy, it is something you can control. The deodorant is in the top bathroom drawer (I'm assuming you forgot?) and foot washing involves soap. With a washcloth. And a vigorous scrubbing motion. No, you cannot count standing in the soap suds on the shower floor. Not sufficient. Scrub those stink cells off your feet. Then repeat.  You won't always (or maybe ever) be the best athlete on your team,...

13.07.2016

Think about what you want. What you really, really want. I bet without much coaxing, you could make a list of things you'd love to have - or be. I bet you have dreams, both big and small, tucked away inside your heart. I bet you have goals, both lofty and mundane, on that list inside your brain. We all know what we want, even if we've never told another soul. And yet we remain without those things. What I want us to consider is why. Naturally, we have no control over some of the things we want. They are out of our reach or are not meant for us. But just as clearly as some things are out of our control, some things aren't. Some things we want could be ours today if we had the courage and drive to go for them. But we don't. Many of the things we want are on the other side of a sacrifice we'd have to make, and when it comes down to it, we aren't willing. It's easier to dream and lament and complain about our lack than it is to work for all we could gain. I want so many things I don't have: a six...

07.07.2016

When did women not taking care of themselves become a badge of honor? When did it become admirable for a woman to bemoan having no time to herself, no time to enjoy her husband, no time to do anything she wants?I don't like a world where self-destruction is revered.Confession time: I sacrifice time with my family to work out. I let my kids watch TV so I can read a book without pictures. I leave my children with my husband and go to dinner with my girlfriends. I leave my children with their grandparents so I can go to dinner with my husband. I lock them outside to play with all the toys we spent all the money on so I can eat a brownie in peace and quiet!!! (Mine are 9 and 10, so they are perfectly fine - don't question my parenting. I didn't do it when they were 2 and 3. Much.)In other words, I make a habit of taking care of myself. Call me selfish, but it's what I need to stay sane. You ultra-moms out there who are convinced 5 minutes to yourself is a luxury you can't afford? You WILL burn out. Trust me...

06.07.2016

I'm so afraid that the church - the broad, nationwide collection of believers who amass to worship and grow - has contributed to a society where wrong is ignored and people are marginalized and hate is fanned into flame. Not in sermons preached from the pulpit, necessarily, and not in words from hate-mongering pastors, but in the quietly obvious lack of love and acceptance and true ministering to souls whose default is sin. We are all messed up people, sinners in need of redemption, and we all have an equally deep need for the mercy of the Savior who passionately loves us and completely forgives us. But in looking at the church, it's often hard to see that we messed up people are equal and that the church loves us all as equally as the One we worship does. The church, I'm afraid, doesn't reflect Christ. The church, I'm afraid, reflects the racism and classicism and sexism of its society.I have spent years worshiping in churches where every member looked just like me. White, middle class, steady job and active 401k. I have worshiped in churches where people whisper if a black man walks in and are offended more by a...