Not Measuring Up

 

 

Preapproved By God(yes you see a cracked screen, this is my life: broken.)

Can I be real with you about me and measurements? First off, I don’t own a scale and never plan to buy one. I don’t believe in measuring myself by a number on a scale. If my jeans fit, I’m doing good. If they are tight, I know when I’m eating too much ice cream or chips and salsa. Like lately. With cooking, I rarely follow recipes because I find it tedious to measure a teaspoon of salt and cups of flour. And lastly, I rarely look at Google Analytics to measure how many people visit my blog. I just write.

Then there are places where I can’t avoid measurements and I cringe. I see a number of “likes” or followers on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.   What does this mean if I have ten likes and someone else has ten thousand? Is what they say more valuable? Or does that even matter? Recently I got excited when I started a new creativity Facebook page and got over 100 likes in a weekend.  Then the growth stopped.  So much for the wave of excitement, instead I felt deflated. What just happened? It’s crazy to be out here in cyber space.

The truth is I’m resistant towards measurements because I am a recovering over-measure-er. 

I’ve spent much of my life measuring myself. In high school I measured my body, including my ankles and wrists. And throughout my life I measured my self image: Too flabby. Too pale. Too insecure. Or am I too vain? I’ve measured my personality: Too much. Too little. Too indecisive. And I’ve measured my heart. Too emotional, too prideful, too honest, too ashamed. I’ve even measured my productivity: way too slow. Basically if there is a way to measure something about myself, I came up short or over the top.

So these days I avoid measurements whenever possible..Because I’m tired of a lifetime of measuring. I need a mental break. I need God alone to help me measure what is true and forget the rest. Because I don’t need to hit a certain number of likes to prove my worth to anyone.

According to God, I measure up, just as I am. With wrinkles. With a quirky, forgetful personality. With a lot of creative ideas and little energy. God doesn’t measure my life, instead he just loves me. And His love covers my life (in full) from conception to my last breath and into eternity. God’s love covers every flaw I see in me. His love is big and beyond anything I could ever try to wrap a tape measure around.

So no more measuring for this girl.

Time to rest and settle into Truth again.

Truth is I am enough. Broken, yes, but loved beyond measure. Not because of something I did to earn it, but because of Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. I measure up because of God’s immeasurable Love. For the whole world. For me. For YOU. Forever.
Amen?

 

(This post was inspired by my friend Jennifer Duke Lee’s new book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. I loved her book because it’s real and story driven and beautifully written. Her message is so needed. We are #preapproved in Christ. There can never be enough books on this topic. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed. You may even be changed in a beautiful way. :) I also love Jennifer’s idea, The Love Idol Movement . Also find FREE “#preapproved” printables there too.

 

Setting the Bar in Your Life

Never Measuring Up

Do you have super high standards for yourself? If so, join my club. I'm my own worse critic. Probably a perfectionist. I notice areas of my life where I miss the bar all the time. My personal expectations are too high and I'm too small. Questions … Read More...

Older Posts

Not Measuring Up

 

 

Preapproved By God(yes you see a cracked screen, this is my life: broken.)

Can I be real with you about me and measurements? First off, I don’t own a scale and never plan to buy one. I don’t believe in measuring myself by a number on a scale. If my jeans fit, I’m doing good. If they are tight, I know when I’m eating too much ice cream or chips and salsa. Like lately. With cooking, I rarely follow recipes because I find it tedious to measure a teaspoon of salt and cups of flour. And lastly, I rarely look at Google Analytics to measure how many people visit my blog. I just write.

Then there are places where I can’t avoid measurements and I cringe. I see a number of “likes” or followers on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.   What does this mean if I have ten likes and someone else has ten thousand? Is what they say more valuable? Or does that even matter? Recently I got excited when I started a new creativity Facebook page and got over 100 likes in a weekend.  Then the growth stopped.  So much for the wave of excitement, instead I felt deflated. What just happened? It’s crazy to be out here in cyber space.

The truth is I’m resistant towards measurements because I am a recovering over-measure-er. 

I’ve spent much of my life measuring myself. In high school I measured my body, including my ankles and wrists. And throughout my life I measured my self image: Too flabby. Too pale. Too insecure. Or am I too vain? I’ve measured my personality: Too much. Too little. Too indecisive. And I’ve measured my heart. Too emotional, too prideful, too honest, too ashamed. I’ve even measured my productivity: way too slow. Basically if there is a way to measure something about myself, I came up short or over the top.

So these days I avoid measurements whenever possible..Because I’m tired of a lifetime of measuring. I need a mental break. I need God alone to help me measure what is true and forget the rest. Because I don’t need to hit a certain number of likes to prove my worth to anyone.

According to God, I measure up, just as I am. With wrinkles. With a quirky, forgetful personality. With a lot of creative ideas and little energy. God doesn’t measure my life, instead he just loves me. And His love covers my life (in full) from conception to my last breath and into eternity. God’s love covers every flaw I see in me. His love is big and beyond anything I could ever try to wrap a tape measure around.

So no more measuring for this girl.

Time to rest and settle into Truth again.

Truth is I am enough. Broken, yes, but loved beyond measure. Not because of something I did to earn it, but because of Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. I measure up because of God’s immeasurable Love. For the whole world. For me. For YOU. Forever.
Amen?

 

(This post was inspired by my friend Jennifer Duke Lee’s new book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. I loved her book because it’s real and story driven and beautifully written. Her message is so needed. We are #preapproved in Christ. There can never be enough books on this topic. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed. You may even be changed in a beautiful way. :) I also love Jennifer’s idea, The Love Idol Movement . Also find FREE “#preapproved” printables there too.

 

Would You Love A Friend Like This?

Sometimes I see a real life story that shakes my heart to the core and I have to share. How many of us are this brave and willing to love like this? Tears…

Greater love has no one than this:

to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15: 13

 

For the story with amazing photos, visit HERE.

(email subscribers, if you can’t see the video you can see it HERE or on the links below)

Anything for love … from Albert Bredenhann on Vimeo.

 

Video Inspiration: Perspective From a 91 Year Old

(Subscribers to view this video, please visit my blog to see video, or find it on YouTube Jump Shot)

I love perspective that is positive, especially when it comes from the older generation. So often life’s disappointments leads to bitterness and disillusionment. We see it in assisted living centers all the time. Faces sunken with sadness. No more joy. Emptiness. That kind of aging breaks my heart. Does life have to end like that? I sure hope not. So when I see someone who is 91 years old and is still looking up, I have to share.

Please take 6 minutes this weekend to receive this blessing of hope.

(Thanks to Ann at A Holy Experience for always sharing inspiring video and article links over the weekend.)

The First Step Towards Starting Something New

First Steps

Do you feel scared when you start something new? Does the learning process feel foreign? Logically we know this awkward feeling is normal, but that doesn’t dismiss our insecurity or fear. So how do we move forward in the face of the unknown, the unfamiliar, the scary, the new?

Step.

Wobble.

Step.

Wobble.

Step, step, step.

Wobble a bit more.

Notice progress.

Step, fall, step.

Learn from fall.

Focus on progress, not setbacks.

Step again.

Develop a comfortable stride.

Gain confidence by practicing steps.

Follow leaders who already fly.

Watch them carefully.

Stand still and stretch out wings.

Flap wings.

Jog a bit and try a leap.

Fall.

Get back up.

Start walking again.

Try another leap.

Step, jog, then leap, flap wings and try to fly.

Fly a few feet, fall.

Dust self off and try again.

Step, then jog, then leap, flap and fly a little farther.

Keep practicing.

Eventually learn to fly higher and longer.

Learn to soar.

Praise God all along the way.

Explore life from a higher perspective.

And be sure to notice new birds.

Teach them how to move past their wobbly first steps.

Celebrate their small successes.

Show them the joy of first flights.

So if you are starting something new, remember those first steps are awkward and wobbly, but they lead to our first flights. So, step, friend, step.. It’s all worth it.

*****

(The reason I wrote this is because I’m in the process of launching a new website for creatives, a life coaching business, along with a website I plan to populate with ALL things creative. This whole start up process feels wobbly for me. I’m nervous, cautious and yet super excited. But I know this is God’s next step for me. I have energy and passion. Plus it’s time to start something new. I’m bored and I want to help others who are just like me.

Creativity is one of my deepest values. I see life through a creative lens, always have, always will. I can’t imagine my life without my camera, creative words, thrift store finds to repaint or repurpose, or the joys of making my home colorful and cozy.

My new website will contain blog posts, videos and free resources like:

* ideas to help you overcome creative blocks

* questions to help you uncover your values

* simple ways to stop living so stressed out and start creating more

* tips to deal with the onslaught of daily obstacles like no time, no money, fear and doubt

* encouragement

* ideas to rekindle your sense of wonder

* vlogs from me

* a peek into my play room

* inspirational videos I find online that I believe are worth sharing

* quotes that motivate you

* interviews from other creatives

* links to my favorite creativity books and resources

When I look at who God made me to be, I see I’m gifted in helping creatives and I know all about being stuck. I see how God uses me to helps fellow artist friends get excited again. I love them like crazy. I get them.  I naturally encourage and motivate creative types,  whether you speak, sing, dance, paint, draw, write, take pictures, make jewelry or homemade juices, or just like to create fun rooms for your kids. So many creative ideas, so little time, right? It’s in my blood to stir up someone who has a creative dream. And for the record, there is no age limit for someone to start creating either. I love to listen and discover the most alive part of a creative soul and bring that person outside their comfort zone. I feel most alive when I can participate in other creative people’s dreams and passions. I love watching oh so talented (often insecure)hearts grow in the gifts and talents to change the world.

And as a certified life coach, I’ve loved the coaching I’ve done so far. I often tear up during a phone session because I sense an aha moment. I also love how my training helps me challenge my closest friends (only if they want a challenge).

Please pray for me as I take more wobbly first steps. Let me know if you’re a creative by leaving a comment. Please tell me more about YOU. What do you love to do?  Email me. Thank you!!

It’s almost flight time!!)

Never Measuring Up

Setting the Bar in Your Life

Do you have super high standards for yourself? If so, join my club. I’m my own worse critic. Probably a perfectionist. I notice areas of my life where I miss the bar all the time. My personal expectations are too high and I’m too small.

Questions I’m considering:

Who set the bar so high in the first place? Me? A boss? Your peers? A parent? Who?

What areas of my life do I struggle to measure up in? All areas? Just one? Or a few?

Now for the truth. God doesn’t have a “jump this hurdle” bar for me or you. He isn’t looking to see who jumped or how high. We don’t have to perform for Him to care about us. He isn’t disappointed or surprised by our daily limitations. He sees all and knows all. He believes in us. He sets no limits to His daily mercies and grace. His grace is sufficient for today. Right now.

So forget that dang hurdle.

Forget staying stuck.

The high bar isn’t worth hanging into.

Just let go.

Move on.

And if you’re like me and you’re used to hanging onto something bigger than you are, try grabbing onto God. Reach for His big hand. Trust Him. God longs to meet you on your level with His unconditional love.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 38-39

 

I pray we all will stop measuring ourselves to some invisible bar and find some peace of mind. :)

 

(QUESTION: How do you stop measuring yourself? Please share in comments or reply to my email (subscribers). Thanks. )

 

Want More Joy? Then Watch This

(Email subscribers if you can’t see this video, view it on my blog HERE or see the video where it came from Kayden + Rain from Nicole Byon on Vimeo.)

I love the way children teach us to celebrate life and all of its wonder. I live for more wonder. Sweet little Kayden is living in the moment and her fullness of joy brings tears to my eyes. This video makes me want some warm summer rain, especially since Colorado is having below zero temperatures this week.

Enjoy this day, whatever it may bring.

Dance in the rain.

Lift up your hands in holy praise.

God is good.

Have a great weekend, friends…

 QUESTION: What is a favorite video of yours you can share with me? Let me know in the comments or reply to this email (subscribers). I’d love to watch some more fun videos this weekend.

The Key To Lasting Change

What Are You Listening to

I spend too much time listening to trash talk radio playing in my head. I hear voices that say I’m a hypocrite, I’m vain, and I’m just too selfish to share my gifts and talents with the world.

This trash talk is in direct conflict with what I “choose” to spend time listening to each day. Truth is I spend hours almost every day listening to positive or motivational things. I can do this because I have lots of daily alone time. Yes I realize this is a gift. So whenever I shower or drive somewhere, I listen to worship or happy music on Pandora. When I wash dishes or fold laundry or pay the bills, I listen to a sermon or something educational on YouTube. I love to learn and I get bored without it. And I need the truth of God’s Word to combat my tendency towards shame-based thinking. Plus I want greater depth with God and greater life change.

Feeding my mind with good things is not optional because I know me. I tend to struggle with dark thoughts otherwise. I must focus on the good in this world somehow, some way. Because we all know the news is never good news. The media focuses on fear and all things negative like: who lied, who cried, who died, and who spied on someone who just lied or cried or died.

Recently I realized why I am not seeing change from all my hours of listening. My life is way more thought than action. Plus my belief system wavers, which means I doubt, question and over-analyze most everything. I struggle to fully believe God for my dreams and goals, but I believe big for you, just not for me. I’m too old, too wishy washy or something self critical. After all I know the Truth and so what’s the big deal? Why can’t I just DO the dang truth? What’s the hold up? Why do I still care what people think? Why the fear and insecurity if I have the Most High God on my side?

Here’s what I know as of today: I feed my mind with good things, but I have a hard time stopping long enough to APPLY what I’m learning to my life. Instead I tend to move on to the next new and shiny thing. I’m like a mental warehouse full of educational files, but what good is knowledge without someone actually using it?

Sure, I can share with you about health, nutrition, exercise, benefits of drinking water or juicing, and the best cancer fighting foods, but how well am I caring for MY own body today? I can talk about life coaching, creative dreams, goal setting, and discovering your values, but am I really living out mine? I can talk decorating, organizing, re-purposing, gardening, personality types, non-fiction books, Bible verses, BUT again is there a gap between what I say and what I do?

Yes. And there always will be a gap because I will never fully arrive. I am a work in progress. Learning, failing, and then learning all over again. But this year the gap is slowly shrinking and I am changing because of one simple thing:

Action.

And I’ll admit action is hard for me. It goes against my natural tendency to just sit and listen. Listening feels like an action step to me. I would rather be quiet and pour more knowledge in then actually do hard work like exercise, eat right, or extend forgiveness to someone who hurt me. But if I want to see lasting life change and the blessing of helping others, then I must stop listening to trash talk. And I must continue to listen to truth and also DO what is right. I must honor my God-given values and His Word without excuse.

Because listening isn’t enough.

Action is required.

Who leads the best example of love in action?

Jesus who listened to His Father moment by moment and hung on the cross for our redemption.

Listen to His words of love and compassion.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Will you accept the truth that today you are indeed forgiven?

I do.

Today I lean NOT on my own understanding (or confusion or the mistakes of yesterday), and I lean into this day by taking gentle care of me and trusting God a little more.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

QUESTION FOR YOU: what are you listening to today? If it’s something negative, how is that benefiting you or those around you? If it’s positive, are you stopping long enough to apply what the positive to your life? Please share in comments or reply to this email (subscribers). Thank you.

3 Tips For Fighting a Dark Depression

Darkness versus Light

Depression sucks. I hate it when I struggle. Truth is last year was one of the hardest I’ve had in over a decade. For a number of reasons I fell prey to a dark depression and it took the life right out of me. Logically I know ways to combat depression, but that doesn’t make it easier when I feel like crap (yes, I said crap).

Stress.

Low energy.

Physical pain.

Negative mindset.

Wanting to be alone.

Eating sugar, sugar, sugar.

No interest in things I once loved.

Feeling like I will be judged if I admit I’m stuck.

Feeling like a spiritual failure for finding myself in a dark pit again.

Funny thing is I’m an open book about a lot of things like my past abortion and sexual abuse, but when I feel vulnerable from depression I choose to hide. One reason is because I don’t want to feel like a project to be fixed. I don’t want pity. And I definitely don’t want to be the center of negative attention or gossip.

I just want to be loved as I am: depressed, which is hard to admit as someone who loves to encourage and motivate and inspire others. Hello hypocrisy. :) It’s crazy to know I can give to the world but not to myself sometimes. I am hopeless to fight my own battles. And I tend to hide from good intentioned Christians who I know will dish out plates full of biblical nutrition in an effort to help me. I know that may good food, but I can’t handle that much at once. I need to start slow. Spoonfuls not platefuls please. I need to know I’m worth just sitting in silence with. I need lots of laughter and grace. Most of all, I need unconditional love. Never condemnation.

So why am I saying all of this today? I don’t know. Maybe because I feel like I’ve turned a healthy corner. Praise God! Or that I can finally be real again. Or maybe it’s time I give back out of my recent dark experience.

So what one thing makes depression last?

Darkness, without a doubt, dwelling in darkness. And by darkness I mean dark thoughts. Chronic dark thinking leads to depression, which then leads to doom and gloom. I know this because of my own experience. During my bout with depression, I thought of a lot of creative ways I could escape life. Disappear. Run away. Be gone. None of my ideas were light, nope, all were dark. It’s humbling to admit this but it’s true. And if the truth sets us free then I will speak truth.

I no longer feel depressed, thank goodness. I still feel somewhat fragile at heart, but not depressed. So what’s the difference?

Light!!

1/2. Thinking and living light. Light on myself, as in gentle, not so hard or critical. No more beat up Tiffany sessions. Instead I’m focusing on self care and trying not to feel selfish for “me time”. (most moms relate) I’m intentionally caring for myself as I would my own children. Eating healthy foods, exercising light, thinking light. I’m taking pictures, writing my daily thanks and meeting with a couple friends again. I’m dreaming and creating just because I can. Bottom line is I am no longer depraving or punishing myself. I’m being good to myself. I’m living light and I can feel the difference.

3. Looking for Light. I’m living in God’s presence, allowing Him to become the light of my life again. Mediating on Truth, which is a healing, bright light.

I’m loved regardless.

I’m accepted regardless.

I’m chosen, adopted, redeemed.

I’m already forgiven.

I’m set apart for a good God-given purpose.

I’m fighting back through praise, confessing my sins, admitting my desperate need, and asking for God’s Spirit to help me. I can’t do life in my own strength, so why I keep trying is beyond me?  I’m leaning on God instead of my own flawed understanding. I’m keenly aware–all over again–of the battle of the mind and the spiritual battle. I’m speaking scripture out loud instead of dwelling in Darkville. Because the truth is, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” Isaiah 54:17.

Three tips for fighting a dark depression:

* think light

* live light

* seek Light

Question for you: What helps you get out of a depression? Please share in comments OR reply to this email (subscribers).

The Voice of Shame

Shame Versus Truth of God's Word

Shame wiggles its way back into my life without much notice. Shame keeps me silent, steals my ability to think straight, and leaves me defeated. Shame by its very nature speaks lies wrapped up in little whispers. Whispers that only I can hear.

“See, you are the problem.”

“You’re just too complicated, too sensitive and too difficult to love.”

“You will never move past your issues.”

“You have nothing to offer, so don’t even try.”

Shame leaves me isolated and hopeless. But are those statements true? No.

Truth is:

Yes, I have problems, but that doesn’t mean I am one.

Yes, I’m complicated and sensitive but that doesn’t mean I can’t be loved.

I have already moved past several issues in my life, so why the word “never”? Hmm.

I have something to offer others: my story, my perspective, my experiences, my passions and gifts and talents, and my hope.

Today I have hope even though sometimes I still find myself listening to the voice of shame.  Hope is help for the hopeless. HOPE is my one word for 2014. And my hope is found in Christ alone.

He is my hope for today.

He is my hope for tomorrow.

He is my hope for change.

And He is my hope for love…

(2-PART QUESTION FOR YOU: What is something shame says to you and what is truth? Please share in the comments or reply back to this email if you are a subscriber. I’d love to know how you fight the lies.)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,

that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13 NKJV

 

 

( PS If you suffer from feelings of shame, please know you’re not alone. There is hope and healing available for you no matter what has happened. And even if you’ve had a setback that doesn’t discredit the progress you’ve already made. You can get back up from a season of defeat. You can stop listening to lies and start listening to truth and believe again. There is always grace. There is always new mercies. And thank God, there is always hope. . .ALL things are possible for those who believe. Mark 9:23. Believe, my friend, just believe all over again.)

 

Forever Free

Forever and always

The best thing about freedom in Christ is it lasts forever.

There is no expiration date.

No matter what.

God’s Word is true and His promise of freedom is forever.

Never again do you have to live under bondage of your sins, your past, condemning voices or lies.

No matter what your circumstances are today you can live free.

You can even be behind bars, but still free on the inside.

So surrender your junk and trust God again.

It’s time.

Right now.

Today.

Fly free, friend, fly free.

And I don’t care what anyone else tells you “you are” because I know what my God says about YOU.

You are forgiven.

You are chosen, adopted, accepted, loved, and redeemed.

No one can contain a free spirit that soars with God.

The Spirit of the Living God gives you wings..

You are, repeat after me: Forever Free.

Forever.

Free.

 

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

(For previous posts from this series, click 31 day blog series: Live Free.  )