The Sunshine Transition


Has anyone ever told you that  “things will look better in the morning”?

I was never a fan of that saying…I’m not a huge fan of any of those phrases that people throw out there when they really don’t know what else to say. “It is what it is.” “Whatever will be will be.” And don’t get me started on “everything happens for a reason”…gag

But, getting back to the hand at order, I’m so bad at see things better in the morning. In fact, its usually the opposite for me. I’ll have all my great ideas and dreams in the evening and, come morning, when I’m reviewing them in the shower…where all good reflections occur… I begin to crumble. My resolve weakens and, when faced with the actual idea of putting my thoughts into actions, my confidence plummets.

I’ve termed this personal phenomenon the “sunshine transition”, as if any ray of light that touches my hopes and dreams turns them into the scared mice I try to ignore the signs of in my pantry.

It happens more than I would like it to. Apparently, I’m a very brave person after the dinner hour and can solve all of the world’s problems, but only in theory. Because when the sun comes up, the doubt comes with it.

What if I don’t have all the facts? What if the person I need on my side doesn’t agree? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I fail?

The last two are the hardest: failure, or even the appearance of failure, have kept me from many things and still haunt most of my decision making processes. I feel that today. I will probably feel that in some way 20 years from now.

But what does failure do? It proves that I’m flawed and broken and vulnerable. It shows that I’m not in charge. It reminds me that I’m in desperate need of a Savior.

So, I will try to choose to let the sunlight in and not be afraid. I will remind myself that it’s not my job to be perfect, it’s my job to try. And, most of all, I will once again surrender to my calling to let Jesus be my Savior, because I would be a really bad one.



I hate the Internet

I know today is about love. I get that. I also (obviously) don’t really hate the Internet…I’m being dramatic. I’m a girl on Valentine’s Day, totally to be expected.

But, at the very least, I’m not very happy with parts of the Internet at them moment. And, like most of the times when I’m angry or hateful, it’s myself that I’m actually mad at and not the person/thing/website.

And here’s the deep dark secret: My name is Jen and I’m a Comparison Addict. (“Hi, Jen,” say the disembodied voices in my head) It’s horrible. I can go to the darkest hole of pity and self loathing with the snap of your fingers. And the biggest obstacle is the fact that I spend a (much too) big portion of my life looking at other people’s lives on a screen.


I think I would have done better in a life before the Internet. Granted, I wouldn’t have traveled beyond my street because my sense of direction without a GPS can be equated to that of toddler who was just spinning in circles for 18 minutes straight. But, I yearn for a time when I didn’t have filtered, perfect smiles mocking me and my unwashed hair. I need to be able to get through a day without someone having a thought that makes me question my own existence. And the cheesy couple posts…ugh don’t get me started. If it’s possible, I couldn’t loathe/love anything more.

Case in point: My husband sent me roses today. Now, I believe that my husband is the most perfect person in the world and, if I didn’t have Jesus in my life, my love for my husband borderline idolatry. But did I thank him as soon as I said good-bye to the delivery man? No, the first thing I did after receiving this beautiful gift: I took and posted a picture of it. I needed people to see what had happened. I needed to be noticed. I needed to prove to myself that I was important enough to be included in the blizzard of heartfelt pictures and declarations of love happening on Facebook today. (I did eventually thank my husband.)

And this happens more than on holidays. There are times I can find myself hours deep into looking at someone’s vacation pictures from 4 years ago because I need to convince myself that, in some way, it wasn’t perfect. Or that my thighs look smaller than that woman’s profile picture from 2011.

It’s bad for me. I know it’s bad for me.Sometimes I state out loud in my empty office how bad it is for me while I click the next link. But it is so easy to get caught up in. And its so hard to stop.

It feels a lot like being a child and screaming for your mom to look at you. Over and over and over and over until you get her attention. And why? So that she can praise you or smile and nod. So that she can love you and accept you and so that you can be known.

Listen to Me Sign Person Tries to Get Attention in Crowd

See where I’m going with this yet?

Someone is watching. He’s always watching. Even when I’m not selfie worthy and even when I’m down the rabbit hole of hating myself while studying the most minute detail of someone else’s profile, God is watching. And He’s loving me. And I am known to Him.

And He is sad that I don’t realize that. That I am beating up what I consider to be unworthy in myself. That I am tearing down His child.

And with His help, I’m working on it. I don’t have all the answers. Heck, I don’t have any of the answers. But my tactic of praying my way through the darkness, is getting me closer.

So, I’m praying for you, couple who just announced their pregnancy. And you, person who ate a really pretty looking salad last Tuesday. And, most of all, I’m praying for you, unsure little girl inside of me who is longing for attention. We’ll get through this.

PS How pretty are those roses?!



Called to renew

I fear I only turn to writing when I’m hurting…or trying to prove myself. I want it to be more than that. I want to write (or paint or say or sing or…) something that matters. Something that makes the world better, even if that betterment is just in encouraging myself. I want to remember that this blog exists and do so more than every few (ok, many) months.


Especially now with this little one around, I want to be and do better in every aspect of life, including this digital account of my life which no one may ever read. Challenge accepted.



I matter

I’ve realized that I spend a lot of time convincing myself I’m not good enough…and I need to stop that.

It’s odd, because I always thought that I lacked confidence or self-esteem, but I’m realizing that may not be the case. My gut reaction is always to stand up for myself or fight to the death for my stance. But as time goes on, I talk myself down. I make myself believe that maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m not thinking clearly, maybe I don’t understand. Similar thoughts include things like “of course they know better than I do” or “who I am to be able to _______”. I talk myself down a lot with the mistaken notion that I don’t matter as much as other people do. This can be a form of humility, or this can be a crippling form of self-doubt…mine is definitely the latter.

I’ve been doing this a lot at work lately. Second guessing and backing down, not letting myself count. It’s not working and I’m miserable. And I think that’s mainly because I don’t truly believe the lie I convince myself of. I matter…and I’m going to start acting that way.


It’s a down day

I want the weather to be nicer for August. I want the sun to shine. I want it to be oppressively hot.

I want to love my job. I want to find passion in my work. I want my work to mean something. I want to work with people I respect and can’t wait to see in the morning. I want to feel confident in what I present to the world. I want to believe in the mission of my office. I want to interact in meaningful ways. I want my old job. I want my degree.

I want to communicate better. I want to be thinner. I want to be prettier. I want to be liked. I want to be loved. I want to sleep more. I want to have everything in a neat orderly setting. I want enough money to be comfortable.

I want a lot of things and today it doesn’t seem like I’m going to get any of them today. So far that means I’m having a bad day.

But I woke up this morning in a beautiful house with the man I love. I used clean water and ate my fill of breakfast and used a car to get to a job that gives me a salary and benefits. And no matter how bad I feel, I have a God who never leaves me. I may want a lot of things but I have everything that I need. And my prayer for today is that I focus on that instead.

(Originally posted 8/27/2015)