Tag Archives: Love your neighbor

Ladies, Let’s Do This

Ladies, it’s time to start building each other up.

What if instead of criticizing, comparing and judging, we got into the habit of complimenting, holding our heads high, owning who we are and lifting each other up?

I’ve seen it all too often in my life and I’m not without blame. And, now that I have girls – I see it in their lives.

And it breaks my heart.

Why oh why?

What if, collectively, we decided to stop the shaming and start uplifting? What if all of our words were like high-fives for the soul? For friends and strangers a like. Wouldn’t that be powerful? Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

“I see you over there sister, rocking that outfit – own it, girl!”

“You are an amazing mom. Keep it up! You’ve totally got this!”

“I see you with your screaming child and I want you to know I’ve been there too. So many times. It’s hard, isn’t it? How can I help you?”

“I notice you’ve been working out and eating healthy. Keep it up! You are such an inspiration! Have any recipes to share?”

“I’m sorry your marriage ended. I care for you and want to be part of your support network. You will get through this. One day at a time. Want to come over for dinner?”

“I love when you got up and spoke today at the meeting. What you said really impacted me. Keep up the great work.”

What if our first, last and all of the in-between words we shared with each other were intended to build up and not tear down?

What if we stopped the whispering? And pointing? And eye-rolling?

Can you imagine the impact this would have on us? Our husbands? Our daughters? Our sons?

Because they hear us. They imitate us. Whether we want them to, or not. They do.

Our words hold power. How we treat each other matters.

The beautiful thing is, we have the power to stop the shaming and the judging. Stop judging ourselves. Our friends. Strangers.

I believe this change starts with how we speak to ourselves.

What does that little voice inside of your head say about you? Are you comfortable in our own skin? Do you recognize you are beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind, a work of art made by God – never to be replicated, duplicated or remade? Do you know this?

Know it. Own it. Walk with your head held high. Be confident in who God created you to be. See your gifts and talents and begin to look around for the gifts and talents He placed in others.

Let’s stop competing – and start collaborating.

Let’s stop wanting to be someone else, and instead be are grateful for who we are – and grateful for who they are. Let’s learn from each other.

I’m trying to teach this valuable lesson to my daughters.

I am trying to teach them what a true friend is – and isn’t. I’m trying to teach them that when people are unkind, it usually comes from a place of insecurity or jealousy. I’m trying to teach them how to love others well. How to give grace. How to forgive. And that sometimes, even though you’ve forgiven, there are some relationships that just aren’t healthy. There are times when you have to walk away.

And in attempting to teach these lessons to my daughters, I’ve had to take a long, hard look at myself. My own words. My own actions. I’ve realized if I want better for them, then it starts with me. How do I speak about others? About myself? Are my words kind? Do they build-up? Do they tear down?

Ladies, it’s time. Time to start building each other up. Time to start loving ourselves. Loving our neighbors. Treating each other the way we want to be treated. No more silent, unapproving stares. No more snickering behind someone’s back. No more condescending remarks. No more comparisons. No more judgement. No more shame.

No more of the breast fed vs. bottle fed.

No more of the stay-at-home vs. working mom.

No more of the I’m right and you’re wrong , I’m better than you mentality. Because there is a whole lot of gray in this world. We have the freedom to make choices and just because I choose one way – doesn’t mean another person’s way isn’t right.  Because it’s right for them. And their family. And really? We are all just trying our best, right?

Let’s hold our heads high. Let’s share in each others joys and successes. Let’s encourage one another. Let’s compliment each other. Let’s recognize each other’s God-given gifts and talents. Let’s give high-fives to each other’s souls.

Ladies, it’s time.

Let’s do this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Work in Progress

In college, I spent a lot of time seeking meaning and purpose – in my life. In the world. 

I was curious. 

I had accepted Christ when I was younger, but hadn’t fully given my life to Him. 

I was unsure. 

I knew I had a big, gaping hole in my heart that nothing could satisfy. Nothing. Not personal relationships, material possessions, substances, food. Nothing. 

And believe me – I tried a lot of somethings to fill that hole.

Some of my attempts to fill the hole were healthy and some self-destructive. 

I went to a shaman and had a healing ritual performed. 

I went to an astrologist and had my chart created and read. 

I took college courses on religions around the world. 

I met with numerous counselors. 

I attended the occasional service at the Catholic Church. 

I did body detoxes and juice cleanses. 

I practiced yoga and intentional breathing. 

I numbed my mind and body with substances. 

I binged. I purged. 

I hooked up. 

I read self-help books. 

I followed bands. 

Seeking and searching. Searching and seeking. 

I don’t have time to get into my entire testimony here – and you probably don’t have the time to read it. 

The short of it is this, when I came to my lowest point – the point in time when I wanted it all to be over – the point in time when I was ready for my life to end because I had traveled down a rabbit hole of bad choices and didn’t know how to possibly climb out – at that point in time, I remembered the prayer I prayed at church camp in middle school. 

I clearly saw Jesus. 

I remembered Him. 

And I wanted to live. 

Slowly and surely over the course of the next few years, my life changed. The hole vanished. 

What drew me to Jesus? I knew no matter what I had done – He would love me. Nothing was too big or too awful for Him. He knew me. He saw me. He was with me in all of my seeking and searching. He knew about every bad choice I had made and would make. He was there. Patiently waiting for me to turn my eyes to Him. 

It was His love that drew me in. 

Not shame. Not condemnation. Not a checklist of things I needed to get right before He would accept me. 

I came to Him broken asking for His love to cover me. 

And I still come to Him broken. Every day. 

And do you know what? He still loves me. 

When I accepted Him, there wasn’t a contract I had to sign saying I would have it all together in x-amount of years or else our arrangement would be over. 

Nope. 

It was more along the lines of – I will forever mess up and He will forever love me. 

Do you know what else? I loved knowing God called His followers to love me and all of my imperfect mess. That gave me hope. 

And that’s the kind of Christ follower I want to be. Not one with a list of rules and obligations, but one who strives to love others well. Someone who another person can come to in their lowest moment and know they will be loved and accepted. Hugged and not rejected. 

All others. Not just those who are like me. Not just those who voted a certain way. Not just those who dress a certain way or have a certain amount of money in the bank. Not just those who believe just as I do. Not just those who live just as I do. 

ALL others. ALL. 

I will never, ever have it all together. And neither will you. Neither will anyone you encounter on this broken planet. 

Isn’t that comforting? 

Let’s strive to love each other well. Let’s embrace each other for our strengths. Our weaknesses. Our similarities. And our differences. 

Let’s be salt. 

Let’s be light. 

 Let’s show love to the broken-hearted. 

Let’s remember – we are all works in progress. We are all broken. 

Let’s meet each other in our brokenness.  

That is where we see beauty. That is where we see healing. That is where we see Jesus.

 

*This originally appeared on the Truly Yours Jen – Jennifer Thompson, writer Facebook page

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