voices

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I frequently find myself in conversations with other women about the voice we hear inside of us. You know, the voice that in a moment’s time can belittle us and pick us apart until no outfit feels worth wearing and we find ourselves scowling at the reflection in the mirror. It baffles me how one day I can assemble a fresh, chic ensemble in two minutes, while other days I wind up with a pile of clothes on my bed that are boring, unflattering and all wrong.

Maybe you’ve left that little voice in your past, and to that, I say, well done my friend. You’ve conquered a battle I still wage war against more often that I’d like. Sometimes women mistakenly think that if you’re leading in ministry or have your life seemingly put together that you never doubt yourself or struggle with listening to that little voice. To that I say, HA! I WISH!!

I really do wish that it were that easy and that we all reached a threshold in our lives when we stopped questioning our inherent worth and beauty.

For me, it comes and goes in waves. It generally comes when it’s that time of the month and all is wrong in the world except wine, chocolate, and the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Sometimes it lingers through seasons of change/transition that leave me feeling uprooted and uncomfortable. Ahem… moving from sunny, palm tree land, with oceanfronts and familiar faces to humid, frequently rainy, middle of nowhere and misunderstood by everyone land. Yipee!!!!

Recently though, I’ve been uplifted. In bold and beautiful ways.

The Lord has used the voices of the women that know me best scattered around the world to speak brilliant truths into my life. Women from all different seasons of my life, some of which I talk to frequently, and others that I connect with once in a blue moon.

God has spoken so specifically through these women it’s completely blown my mind. I am feeling lifted up, both spiritually and physically, by their encouragement and kick in the pants to remember who God is and who he created me to be. They remind me of the Lord’s faithfulness in the past, and they have told me what I need to hear – which is not always what I want to hear.

Once again, I am wooed by Jesus’ tenderness that I discover in authentic friendship. Jesus is so present to me in the women who have said “yes” to journeying through life with me. They reveal the relational heart of our Lord who is attentive to all our aches, questions, and outfit changes. Through these women, I am challenged to become the woman that God is calling me to be – and he keeps calling me forth into virtue and holiness through their voices.

Who are your voices of truth?  {name them}

When was the last time you had a heart to heart with one of them?

Chances are you will fall into one of these three categories:

  1. If you’re smiling as you reminisce on a recent conversation, then say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for that woman and let her know how much she means to you. Write her a card, send her flowers, or a little “thinking of you” gift to let her know how much you value her voice of truth in your life, and be hers too.
  2. If you’re feeling left out because it’s been far too long since you’ve connected with someone who lifts you up and challenges you, then pick up the phone and do it. Right now. And don’t be afraid to say, I miss you or I need you right now. Swallow your pride and ignore the lies that they won’t have time or they don’t care, because they do and if they’re one of your best friends, they will make time!
  3. If you’re tearing up because you can’t think of one person to call, well I kind of want to give you my cell phone number, but aside from that, ask God to bring this woman into your life. He longs for you to have life-giving friendship. I am saying a prayer for you right now, and for the woman that he will bring into your life to be a voice of truth for you. Jesus is for you, sweet girl. You are not alone, and you are so loved.

While I am in the midst of a transition, which I like to describe as awkward and uncomfortable, while also adventurous and unpredictable, I want to stop and take a moment to celebrate the women who are voices of truth in my life. You know who you are, and I most likely sent you a sappy text/card/GIF recently because my heart is flooding over with love and gratitude for the way you continually change my perspective from defeated to championing through every challenge with passion and grace.

Praise God for the voices that speak straight to our hearts. Can I get an Amen?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

own it

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I was talking to my Grandma on the way to work the other morning. It’s really the perfect way to start any day. Let’s be honest, Grandmas are the best. My Grandma will always be my biggest fan. I have distinct memories of walking into the house after playing four softball games in a day, covered in red clay dirt from head to toe, reeking of sweat, and upon greeting her, my Grandma says, “Oh don’t you just look beautiful! Look at you! You make sweat and dirt look good!”

How does she even come up with this stuff?! I would always reply, “I am not dumb, Gram. I look and feel disgusting, it’s okay, I am quite literally covered in dirt.”

But nowadays, I’m all for it. Calling Gram is speed dial for my biggest cheerleader.

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So back to where I started… I was on the phone with Gram on my way to work, and her parting words of wisdom to me as I walked into the office were, “Don’t let them make you dowdy. You just keep being you – glamorous and all.”

First of all, my Grandma is the only person I know who says the word glamorous, and I love it. She owns it. In fact, she’s the most glamorous woman I know. Her heart is glamorous and she knows it, because that is the woman God created her to be, and she embraces it with all of her being. (Proof is on the right)

There’s something beautiful here that I want to press in to a little further with you.

The essence of who you are, who God created you to be, is detached from the circumstances of your life. Your identity does not depend on a single facet of your life such as your job, relationship status, location, friend group, the clothes you wear, your Instagram feed, your profile picture, etc.

We’ve heard this before right? I can hear it now, “Yeah, yeah I know.”

But do you really? If you know it, are you living it? Are you living your life in such a way that reflects your identity as a child of God?

Do you believe that you, {insert name}, are a child of God? 

Do you believe that the God who created the heavens and the earth formed you and proclaimed you inherently good?

He desires nothing more than for you to embrace your quirkiness. Not because you think you’re the best, but simply because all that you are comes from God himself, and he doesn’t make mistakes. There’s not one single part of who you are that he deems less than beautiful.

So stop criticizing yourself, right now.

God loves the crazy, weird, over the top, messy, kooky, type a or b part of you. Every single bit of it is on purpose.

What I love about my Grandma is that I firmly believe she gives me the purest glimpse into how my Heavenly Father sees me. In her eyes, I am absolutely flawless, whether I am laughing or crying, in a ball gown or in my pajamas, covered in dirt or just out of the shower, nothing changes my identity in her eyes. She never worries about texting me too many times in row before I respond, and she could care less about how long her voicemail is (she just left me one right now, by the way) or how many times she posts on my Facebook wall, likes my photos, or comments on my friends’ pictures. Just look at my newsfeed, she’s all over it.

She sees straight to the heart, every single time. I have always been and I will always be her granddaughter, and she will always be my glamorous Grandma.

The same goes for you and God. In God’s eyes, you make sweat and dirt look good. Who you are is unrepeatable. So no matter where you find yourself today, whether you’re out with friends celebrating Friday eve or alone in your room wondering where you belong in this big world, (confession: I find myself more often on the latter end of that sentence these days with a glass of cab and a pint of coconut ice cream), rest in this simple truth:

You are a child of God, my friend. You have always been his child and you will always be his child, from now until eternity. 

That means we’re sisters, sweet girl – sisters in Christ.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:16-17