Posted in authenticity, encouraging women, grace, thankfulness, the reason for coming alive

I see you…

I see you finding your way in the world. I see you weaving through thoughts, doubts, experiences to find your voice.

I see you bounding through a park with energy, spunk, empathy, and imagination. I see a freedom of owning who you are with no regard for what others think. I see you unaware of what you look like on the outside by living from the inside.

I see you awakening to the thoughts of others. I see you beginning to shrink back for fear that people will point out what is different in you. I see you losing inner confidence in a world of glossy pictures. I see your shoulders slump to protect your heart. I see you defining yourself by what amounts to smoke and mirrors.

I see you performing, learning, practicing, and growing. I see you gaining competence. I see you flexing your strengthening muscles. I see you looking to the needs of others to serve and to encourage because you know what it is to struggle.

I see you stepping into the new to lead, to stretch, to protect, to inspire, to create, to administrate, to nurture, and to empower others. I see you more and less confident with each new step. I see your wings flopping and popping from the cocoon. I see you proud and hiding all at the same time.

I see you believing you have significance. I see you embracing change. I see you embarking on a life long adventure.

I see you dying to yourself to serve another. I see you learning sacrifice and mourning and embracing the loss of freedom. I see you intentionally stepping into love. I see you toughening from the inside out. I see you strong, soft, vulnerable, gritty.

I see you spinning all the plates. I see you calling the plays. I see you learning what to let go and what to embrace. I see you leaning in.

I see you feeling invisible everywhere while you keep life going. I see you tripping while trying to be all things to all people. I see you answering to what feels like everyone everywhere.

I see you letting go and embracing what is reasonable. I see you learning to set boundaries. I see you mourning the loss of who you were and trying to figure out who you are. I see you needing a minute to catch your breath.

I see you renegotiating your life. I see you feeling lost and yet hopeful. I see you embracing yourself like never before. I see you laughing in the midst.

I see you trying new things with spunk, empathy and imagination. I see you shaking off the expectations of others. I see you finding your voice in a more authentic way. I see you shrinking back from being small and choosing to spread your wings.

I see you when you feel invisible to a world that falsely values youth. I see that you are strong, purposed, wise. I see your beauty that is from the inside out. I see you use your voice to embolden others to use their voice, to impact the world, and to live for what matters.

From girl to Woman, I see you.

Posted in authenticity, the reason for coming alive, transformation by truth

What’s with the blog, jen?

48412520_229472477953462_6827589204122271744_nI picked a title because it moved me.

It sounded inspired.

 

This is a picture of my life.

I get a whim of creativity.

I start something new, and then I backtrack to contemplate the meaning.

 

The Art of Coming Alive

There are two types of people in this world: people who have a plan and are exact and Me.  I don’t know where you fall on the continuum, but the truth is that adult life will have its way with all of us.

 

We start with hopes and dreams and optimism, and somewhere along the way parts of us die in the realities of this life.  There may be small deaths as we are wounded by unmet expectations and disappointments.  It may be blows of death to our spirits as we experience trauma.  It may be a learned death feeling your voice doesn’t matter.  It may be an intense anger that your plans and control have no place here.

 

That dying may mean growing cold, lacking power to move, feel, respond.

It may mean going through the motions while no longer having interest, relevance or significance.

It may mean that you are no longer stirred intellectually or emotionally.

It may mean that you learn not to care and not to think too much about anything—and that’s sort of working for you.

 

I know this is where many of us find ourselves.

Friend, we are made for more.  For those in Christ, we are given a new heart and a new mind.  And, you just tuned me out—“blah, blah, blah, churchy speak that’s not true…blah, blah, blah.”

It sure doesn’t feel true, does it?  When we look at the darkness encroaching, it feels pointless.

 

But the truth is, there is skill to mastering the art of something…

ART: skill acquired by experience, study or observation.

Mastering an art involves wisdom, time, patience.  It involves wrestling with yourself and with your Creator.  It involves grit.

I know some of you are thinking—I don’t even have the energy or desire to think about that or to muster hope.

 

Greg, my husband, has always said that living is hard and dying is easy.  It is so true.  Kill a plant by not watering it—just ignore it. I can do that!

Life takes watering, pruning—those pieces of consistency day in and day out.  It takes tending, attending to all parts of it—it takes fight, time and risk.

 

Then there’s the “coming” part of the title.

COMING: gaining importance, an act or instance of arriving, approaching, impending

 

I was studying the words of Christmas carols and the Christmas story yesterday and saw the repetition of a word: Come.

“Come and Worship”

“O Come Let Us Adore Him”

“Come and Behold Him”

Shepherds came…Wise Men came

The definition of Come: move or travel toward, move closer, approach, draw near

Obviously, there’s movement involved—movement toward.

 

So WHAT Is LIFE?

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made through Him…In Him was Life and the Life was the light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:1-4

 

Life and being alive is found in the One who created us, and to find it, we simply move toward, approach it.  We observe, study, and experience Him and the process.  We start where we are…acknowledging our reality.  Our reality may be death—never even knowing Life.  Our reality may be impending death of our spirit.

 

What will you get here? 

You will get an honest woman on the journey toward coming alive in this world that encourages us to deaden ourselves.

You will get real thoughts and writing that hopefully help you wrestle with truth and not give in to the “give up.”

Humor—I mean, for real, we gotta laugh!

A pointing to True Life—that is not found in us alone.

Someone who does NOT have this figured out but keeps drawing near to the One who does.

Grace and Truth

 

What will you not get here?

Ten self-help tips that help you slay your day.

The word slay

A glossing over of pain.

Fashion advice—43-year-old woman who loves overalls might not have a lot to say about that.

Hype.

Condemnation.

Shoulds.

Recipes with long intros about my Great Aunt Sarah’s cheese philosophy

 

So, if you want to follow along and be a part of the conversation, you are welcome here.