Oh Hey.

Welcome to my space. I write honestly about motherhood, finding joy, Jesus, not quite fitting in and embracing the mess. Grab a latte & let's skip the small talk. 

-Jen

A Recovering Beauty Queen

When I heard her words, they were shouting and clear; suggesting me to probe.

It's too early for this, Glennon. I just woke up. I wanted to watch Ellen reruns. 

"You can either be perfect and admired or real and loved."

Glennon of Momastery has been putting words to my heart and soul since the beginning, that wizard. 

I stopped her video. I want to be admired. I want people to want my life. (o my gosh)

Adored, applauded, appreciated. I run after it far too often. 

This has been a battle for years. Being admired makes me feel important..so I seek it out. My go-to is to make it look good on the outside. In High school, I banked on my body and face or whatever was getting me attention at the time. I learned the physical made me feel "adored."  I even feared getting older, because who would I be without outer beauty? (Holy crap, was I shallow?!) I wanted to be wanted more every day and I did whatever it took to be successful at it. If I felt good outside, it didn't really matter what was going on in my heart..no one saw that anyway, right? Keep faking it. 

When God found me for real in college, He told me whats up. He saw me for me and I'll never ever forget that night in the car, sitting across from an aspiring youth pastor I was sleeping with. He whispered like a best friend would because it's intimate and just for you. 

Jen, you can either follow me or not follow me. You can't do this in-between thing because it simply doesn't work...in fact, it will kill you. You can't pretend you are a church leader and go to all the meetings and then deep down, have no love for yourself or for me. Stop faking it. It just doesn't make sense. It won't work. 

It's all connected, isn't it. The spiritual and the physical. I was faking it in both. The longing to be approved of by man often parallels the longing to be approved of by God. The lie in there somewhere that we have to earn it or perform or get all of the dog hair off our couch BEFORE friends come over because if they see that dog hair, they will not love you! That if I ask those big questions, my God will turn his back on me. That if I don't go to that birthday party, they will think I'm a bad friend. 

O my goodness, the lies that fester. Aren't they horrible/normal ?

And here's the truth of it. I may always battle with this perfect on the outside thing, but I tell you what. I will go down fighting. I will say no when I hear that I need this certain (fill in the blank) to be admired and loved. I will speak truth and be real so the real me can be loved. That's when the fullness of being a human that is trying and failing and thriving and loving will be whole and full. Not perfect, no way. I don't even know how that's the standard I set for myself. There is absolutely no way in the universe I could even come close to measuring up to perfection. Not now, not in a million lifetimes.  

I remember the time I felt the most loved ever. 

I made a mistake. A really foolish one and I told my husband about it. Well, I didn't want to but by God's grace, my husband ended up asking me about it. I cried and we cried and I told him about my search for identity. How I always was told I was beautiful and nothing else. That being beautiful mattered the most to me and when I didn't feel that, I was lost and angry. That I wanted to fight for more but didn't know how. I didn't know who I was on the inside. Apart from my external "beauty" that was seeking approval. 

He held me. He wrapped his arms around me and told me who I was. 

He told me I was beautiful on the inside. That he loves my brilliant, creative mind. That he would marry me all over again. That my past is a part of me but it's not my future. That the best part of me is deep down. 

So there I was, exposed and unkept and fully loved. Puffy eyes and snot and and complete. It was a far greater moment than anything in a picture. Let me tell you, we were NOT taking photos during this conversation. 

Real and loved, that's it. That's where the magic happens. It's time to run after it. That attempting perfection is exhausting and impossible. Saying no to trying to be perfect so that I can be "admired." The good stuff is often the messy stuff. That the outside is secondary and it puts up a damn good fight to be first. Keep on fighting. Keep on loving and yes, keep getting the dog hair off of your couch, but by all means...invite me over and we will turn on Katy Perry and have a dehairing party. Don't you dare start without me. 

 

 

 

 

Inviting God in

WHAT I'M LEARNING