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29.01.2018

  If there's one thing I've learned about women in my own 37 years, it's that we feel immense pressure to be more than we can actually be. I'm not suggesting that we're not capable and intelligent and able to do great things; I'm suggesting that we are actual human beings with a limited amount of time, energy, and mental capacity, and it's time we stop feeling shame for having these limitations. It's who we are, and it's how we were created to be. Like it or not, it's the truth. We cannot do it all. And those are the five words we all need to keep telling ourselves: "I cannot do it all." Somehow our culture has created and perpetuated the myth of the superwoman, a woman who magically accomplishes everything she ever dreamed of and who stays in a great mood while doing it. Nope. She doesn't exist. The world around us expects us to be: skinny well-dressed intelligent but not threatening or dominating amazing housekeepers knowledgeable but not over-opinionated gourmet chefs who only use organic, home-grown produce   And it expects us to have: flawless skin, accentuated by perfect makeup flat stomachs, even after kids the wardrobe of a fashionista a side business in addition to our...

24.01.2018

  This summer, I will celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary. Five years with a man I never thought I'd find; five years of love I never believed I'd experience. You see, this marriage isn't my first. And neither is a fifth wedding anniversary. I was married before, for ten years. But that marriage ended badly, and we divorced. As I was thinking about all of this recently, it occurred to me that I should be afraid of this marriage. I should be afraid of what will happen; afraid of more unexpected hurt; afraid of it ending badly. I should be afraid now and should have been afraid five years ago. But I'm not, and I wasn't. And that's only because of grace. This is what grace does: it supernaturally erases what should be and replaces it with what cannot naturally happen. What should exist in my life and marriage? Distrust. Anxiety. Paranoia. Assumptions. But what do I have? Peace. Confidence. Trust. None of this is because of anything I've done, apart from following Jesus. I have not had to learn to trust my husband or to practice confidence in our marriage. No - I've been gifted with these things. I have received them just as surely as I...

22.01.2018

  Today, I spoke these words when I saw my Facebook feed: "That's it. If you don't bring me joy, you're gone." And I meant it. I've written before about giving yourself permission to unfollow people on social media, and today I needed to take my own advice again. My feeds had become a cesspool of negativity, judgment, misunderstandings, and deliberate attacks. People who don't even speak face to face fight via a keyboard. With every scroll, I became more irritated. I saw post after post of things that, in my view, didn't need to be seen, said, or shared through this medium. It's like I forgot I had a choice. But it's MY social media, and I don't have to see what I don't want to see. (And all the people said amen.) So I scrolled and unfollowed, scrolled and unfollowed. And my heart got lighter with every click of the mouse. It's not that I only want to surround myself with people who agree with me and share my opinions. I don't. I believe it's super important to hear different views and be exposed to new ideas. But that's not what this is about. (And I think real life is the best place to do...

17.01.2018

  I haven't always been a runner, and I still don't think of myself as an athlete. I was 26 years old (and 6 months postpartum) when I ran my first 5k, and I still find it hard to believe I've run two marathons. So the fact that I ran over 1000 miles in a year sort of makes me giggle. But it's also one of my greatest accomplishments. You learn a lot about yourself (and life) any time you push yourself physically, and running many miles at a time definitely qualifies as pushing yourself physically. The fact that it's a solitary sport also takes it to a different level. On training runs when you're alone and just wanting to quit, you really learn what you're made of and how much mental strength you have. Running, to me, is far more mental than physical. So in 2017 as I ran 1003 miles, this is what I learned: You have to decide ahead of time that you're going to run, no matter what. When the alarm goes off at 5 am or you realize you'll be running when the heat index is over 100 degrees, it's so easy to make excuses and talk yourself out...