JennieGScott.com - Page 3 of 20 - Enjoying the Journey
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14.09.2017

  Tears streamed down my child's face, the frustration apparent. The frustration was clear, but the real issue wasn't. I couldn't get to the root of the matter. Was it exhaustion? A misunderstanding? Did something happen at school? What was really going on? I never figured it out. My questioning and probing did no good with the child sprawled across my bed, so I couldn't make sense of it. Which basically summarizes being a parent. I'll never forget bringing home a 5 pound newborn and listening to her cries in the night, wondering what they meant. Hunger? No, she just ate. Wet diaper? No, she was just changed. What was going on? Sometimes I never figured it out. I'm a person who likes to have answers. I sat in the front row in school, taking copious notes and comparing my answers to those in the back of the book. If I missed a question on a test, I couldn't let it go until given a thorough explanation. So even now, as an adult, I can't sleep until I feel like I've made sense of things in my mind. I don't do well with not knowing. But being a parent means often not having the right answer.  Where should...

10.09.2017

  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...

05.09.2017

  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,...

22.08.2017

  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...

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...