JennieGScott.com - Page 13 of 18 - Enjoying the Journey
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06.08.2015

I've run 84 miles in the last 17 days (no, I'm not training for anything in particular, and yes, I've just wanted to), and those long runs have taught me some valuable lessons. First, if running in the South Carolina summer, try to run in the morning before the heat and humidity make you feel like this.Second, invest in good running shoes. Third, no matter how good your running shoes are, your feet will still hurt after 84 miles.More than those lessons, though, I have come to realize that what you experience on a long run is a metaphor for what you experience in life. Here's why.When you first set out on your adventure, everything seems good. Your playlist is set, your legs are fresh, and you feel like a gazelle bounding through the morning mist. But as the miles go on, you realize your sock is crooked, the tag in your shorts is slowly driving you mad, and the hitch in your right hip isn't getting any better. In other words, the Utopian picture you painted in your head isn't your reality, and you just have to slog through the miles. Sometimes, slogging is all you can do. Slogging...

05.08.2015

This week’s books could not be any more opposite, but I love them equally. Both are nonfiction, my favorite genre, and while their topics are nothing alike, they both have such profound lessons that they are well worth your time and money. I recommend buying your own copies because you will want to highlight and underline something on every page!Without further adieu, this week’s selections.Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life by Michele Cushatt.Click here to purchase from Amazon.This book had me at the subtitle. I saw it recommended on social media, which is where I hear about a lot of what I choose to read, and from the minute the Amazon Prime fairy placed it in my mailbox, I was enamored. Both the story and the writing style are beautiful, and Cushatt will make you cry and silently whisper “Amen.” The back cover says, “She never expected a devastating divorce and single motherhood. Or a second marriage marred by the challenges of a blended family. Undaunted, Michele worked hard to put her upside-down life back in order. Until, at the age of thirty-nine, she received a cancer diagnosis. And eight months later, she opened her near...

04.08.2015

Each week, I'll be writing about my takeaway from Sunday's sermon at 4 Points Church. Some weeks I will summarize, and some weeks I will focus on one main idea. This week, it's all about the pit and the palace. To view the sermon, visit this link.There's a difference between believing in God and believing God. A huge difference, and for much of my life, I was stuck there.Yes, I believed that God existed. I knew it and never doubted it. But I did - and sometimes still do - doubt Him. The Words He said and the Words He gave often feel like they're contradicting my life. Believing in God? I'm good. Believing all He says and all He promises? That's where I struggle. Does it make me unspiritual to say so? Oh well. Then I am. His Word says, "...

03.08.2015

So, teacher. You're feeling anxious. And excited. And overwhelmed.I get that.Any minute now, you'll be facing a room of expectant young faces, and you're probably not sure if you can meet all the expectations. Let's get this out of the way up front - you can't.You can't meet all of their expectations, or their parents', or your administrators'.Most importantly, you won't be able to meet all of your own.You just can't. You are one person, and one person can only do so much.I know you. I know that this summer, you've seen ideas on Pinterest you've thought might be amazing in your room. I know you saw that sale at Office Max and stocked up on colored pencils and colored copy paper. As you were reading on the beach, you dog-eared passages that you want to share as beautiful examples of prose. The teacher in you might have slept later and might not have graded papers this summer, but you didn't stop being a teacher. You thought of what didn't work last year and what might be better this year, and you imagined what you could do to make a bigger difference.In other words, you continued to build the mountain...

30.07.2015

She looked beautiful, and I resented her for it.The picture posted on social media twisted my heart in such a vise that at first I couldn't identify why I was suddenly angry and simultaneously needing to cry. Everything in the picture screamed out at me, "Look at what she has! Look at all you're not." Her outfit was form-flattering (and clearly not from Target), her gorgeous hair looked like she had just come from the salon, and even her house in the background looked like part of a photo shoot.Meanwhile, I had just seen in my own bathroom mirror the stretch marks on my hips, the distribution of pounds that gravity clearly was having its way with, and the gray hair that grows with reckless abandon.I felt like an old hag, truth be told, and her beauty pointed its finger in my face."You're ugly," it whispered. "Why do you even bother? It'll never be enough. You'll never be enough. You're old, you're past your prime, and her type of beauty is what people want to see." I don't even know her well, this beauty whose picture mocked me. Yet in that moment I allowed Satan's whispers of my perceived inadequacy...

29.07.2015

I love books.I love how word-magicians weave their words into sentences we've never seen and cause us to think what we've never thought before. I love to hold a book - made of paper and ink - and circle the phrases that punch me in the gut. I love to reread familiar stories and see what I missed before.I love books.Here are my thoughts on some I've read this summer.How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. If you work with children in any capacity, you must read this one. My favorite part was all about rats (which you might think are totally disconnected from human children other than the messes they make, but you would be wrong. Fascinating stuff). Two groups of baby rats (pups) were studied, and the astounding finding was that pups who were licked and groomed by adult rats after highly stressful events performed better on subsequent tests. "They were better at mazes. They were more social. They were more curious. They were less aggressive. They had more self-control. They were healthier. They lived longer" (30). The implication for humans is that nurturing in early childhood - regardless of whether it comes...

27.07.2015

When you go to a writing conference, you don't expect God to give you a word about what's in your closet. But since He rarely does what I expect anyway, that's exactly what He did to me this weekend. While I was at the amazing She Speaks conference in Charlotte, NC, I had some time to kill between sessions and visited a booth displaying super cute jewelry and accessories. When I learned more about what was on display and the women who had created it, I wanted to cry. And buy everything I saw.The booth was set up by Fashion&Compassion, an organization that employs women in the United States and other countries who have faced what you and I probably cannot imagine. Women who were once trafficked for sex, women who are living with HIV, women whose husbands have abandoned them and who now must provide for their children in third-world countries. The artisans making the beautiful items are given hope and financial security because of Fashion&Compassion. As I was touching the pieces and seeing the beautiful faces of artisans standing near me, I was convicted to my core. I have a closet full of jewelry, accessories, and clothing, and...

26.07.2015

I don't think I've ever been more excited about an app than I am for the First 5 app, and I want you to join me in its official launch tomorrow morning!Proverbs 31 is an incredible ministry that takes the word of God to people all over the world, and it has developed an app to wake you each morning with Scripture. You simply set your alarm within the app, and the first thing you'll see every morning is a short devotion. Before Facebook and Twitter can steal your thoughts and distract your heart, First 5 will take your thoughts directly to the One who made you and loves you. The devotions are designed to take 5 minutes and to be a manageable way to give God what Lysa Terkeurst calls your "Genesis thoughts" - those first thoughts that set the tone for the entire day. The First 5 website says, "We say we put God first...

10.05.2015

2011.Mother's Day was coming, and I was dreading it. My first holiday as a single mom, my birthday, had been excruciating, but I dreaded this day even more. Mothers and fathers are a pair, but I wasn't part of a pair anymore. I was newly alone, very single, and still trying to figure out which way was up. My children were too young to think of or buy gifts, so I feared that the day would go unrecognized and I would be miserable. I knew it would be hard. Hard had become a way of life, and holidays were a type of hard I had never experienced before. Holidays were supposed to bring joy, but all they brought were real reminders of a reality I wished weren't mine.Mother's Day. I wanted to skip it.When the day came, though, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it might be, and the only reason it wasn't was my own mom. She made it better than it had to be. That's what moms do, isn't it? They make it better, whatever it is.My mom had taken my kids a few days before, giving me some very needed relief. Unbeknownst to me, she was...

07.05.2015

I can't remember the final time I bathed either of my children.   For years, I scrubbed their tiny bodies with Johnson's, my knees screaming for mercy as I kneeled beside the tub. Night after night, I wrapped their sweet-smelling pink flesh in hooded towels and wrestled their slippery selves as I forced their toes into feety-pajamas. I slathered chunky thighs with pink lotion, combed wisps of baby-fine hair, stacked bath toys in their usual spots, and mopped up rivers of bath water cascading through the bathroom. Every night, we had our routine. And now it's done. My big kids bathe themselves now, and although I used to long for this day to arrive, it's bittersweet. Sure, it's nice to say, "Go take your shower" and sit on the couch while it happens, but some nights I'd give anything to watch them marvel at splashing again or to shampoo their hair myself. Sometimes, I'd love to see baby toys sitting where big-kid shampoo and loofahs now do. What I wouldn't do to wrap their warm bodies in hooded towels and snuggle them against me one more time. Lasts are hard, but sometimes only after the fact. They're hard because we don't know that they're lasts....