Encouragement Archives - JennieGScott.com
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03.08.2019

Disclosure: the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you order any of them through this site, I'll make a small commission. Guys, I've started a closed Facebook group, and it's been a long time since I've been this excited! A few weeks ago, I felt God nudging me to help pass on what I've learned about health, fitness, and nutrition. I'm not an expert by any means, but as someone who has battled for at least 25 years with body image issues, I've certainly learned a lot! So when I felt like I was supposed to help other people and the idea of a Facebook accountability group came to me, I went for it. The group is already forming, and we start our first month-long challenge on August 12. (If you're interested, just comment on this post or search for "Focused & Fit with Jennie" on FB and request to join.) As we're getting started, I thought I'd share with you some of my products that I use all the time. All of these are links to Amazon, so you can easily add them to your cart and purchase them at the same time. Vital Proteins Collagen People ask...

12.07.2019

"All I wanted was for people to just be there for me. I didn't want to hear all of their stories. I didn't need to know all the verses they thought applied to me. I just wanted their presence." She explained what it was like going through her darkest times, how the people who loved her sometimes helped greatly and, sometimes, unintentionally pushed her farther away. Her words struck a chord, because I've been the person offering the stories. I've been the one supplying the verses. And, if her words were any indication, all the things I thought were helping weren't. They might have even been hurting. Realizing your pure motives aren't always enough for people is a humbling experience. What we think will help doesn't always, and instead of offering what we think people need, we have to train ourselves to ask what will actually help. Here's the difficulty for me as a Christian: I want others to know what I know, to experience what I've experienced with Jesus, to feel the healing I've felt, and to know God's goodness even in crappy situations. But what I forget is that no other person experiences God exactly as I do, and trying to...

20.06.2019

As I write this, I'm sitting in a coffee shop, alone. Of course, there are other people in the building, so I guess I'm not technically alone, but I came here without anyone else, on purpose. I had a few hours to do whatever I wanted, and I chose to be alone with a caramel macchiato and my laptop. This is proof of growth, my friends. Ten years ago, I never would have chosen solitude when there might have been another option. I would have worried about what people thought if they saw me by myself, and I would have chosen strangers' perceptions over my own needs. Now? Who cares what they think? I like being alone. (And I've learned that very few people are paying attention to what I do. Most of us humans are wrapped up in our own worlds and our own minds, and even if we notice someone drinking coffee alone, we usually don't give it a second thought. It's just what people do.) I'm staring down age 40, and my next birthday will be the one decorated in black and "Over the Hill" signs and balloons. Lots of people dread this milestone, but I'm kind of looking forward...

07.03.2019

It's such a pain, meal-prepping every Sunday evening. I take out the spaghetti squash and the extra-lean ground turkey, and I put together my lunches for the week. I'm one of those who eats the same thing every single day, just for the sake of simplicity. The less I have to think, the better. But still, the prepping is a pain. It takes time, effort, and planning ahead, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. And it's such a pain, working out every morning. The alarm goes off before the rest of the house gets up, and I lace up my running shoes and pull my tangled hair into a semblance of a ponytail. I'm one of those who works out before going to work, to get it done early before my brain knows what I'm doing. The effort is a pain. It takes time, energy, and early alarms, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. I do the things I'd rather not do, small things that are a pain, because I've learned small things are larger than they appear. Meal-prepping and early alarms aren't really that terrible, even though it takes effort to do them both, but...

11.06.2018

  Each morning, the screens in my life shout and show turmoil. World leaders making threats and calling each other names. Fires ravaging apartment buildings, forcing a mother to trust that a stranger's arms will catch her infant. Rich fashion designers taking their own lives when an invisible pain becomes too much to carry. Turmoil is both the soundtrack and the screenplay of our humanity. It is in our local communities, in our nations, and in ourselves. Trouble all around, and trouble all within. Inescapable and undeniable. We are broken. Why, then, if our brokenness is universal, do we dress it up with photos carefully posed? Why, then, if it's all around, do we hesitate to bring it to the light? Why, then, if it's within us all, do we change the subject and pretend it's all fine? Our brokenness is our bond, and our bonds bring about beauty. The mother who birthed a broken child, one whose body will never function as it should, said these words to my ears today -- the unexpected will come to your life, and it will change you. Her child's broken body changed her untested faith to one that is certain, and his brokenness introduced her to others whose brokenness changed them, too. The unexpected...

04.06.2018

  Throughout Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection. Completion. Purification. After six days of creating, God rested on the seventh. Seven weeks after Passover began, Pentecost. And every fiftieth year, after seven times seven, it was the year of Jubilee. A year of celebration and release. Captives were set free and debts were forgiven. It was a year of rest. ******* This year is the seventh since my divorce. And God told me it is my year of Jubilee. ******* In the first moments after learning my marriage would end, I fell into a gulf of despair I have no words to describe. I was held captive by lies and condemning self-talk, a prisoner of my sadness and shattered dreams. I woke each morning to go through the steps of being alive, but I was not. I was sleep-walking through my days, oblivious to the world around me and consumed with the shame of who I now was. It has taken me years to admit the truth of what those years were like for me, but now that I am safely on the other side, I feel an obligation to share my truth and invite you to examine yours. I lived a prisoner of shame. Wounded and broken were...

24.04.2018

  Satan taunts me through images. I've learned this about him over the years. Very distinct, very clear, very haunting images. He worms his way into my thought life by first showing me images of what he wants me to think about. He did so this morning. And because he is so cunning, he always does this when I'm vulnerable. This morning I was feeling sad about a situation that is part of my norm, a natural part of our rhythm. I don't like it but can't change it, so I pray each time it comes up for the strength to endure it. I was sad, but sad isn't sinful. Sad is, though, for me, a portal to destructive thoughts. A pathway to sin. Any time my emotions are front and center, my enemy tries to use them to distract me and destroy me. So this morning, in my sadness, he played connect the dots. He took my initial sadness that was not sinful and connected it to images he knew would hurt me. He showed me pictures of realities connected to this morning's sadness, connecting one feeling I had to multiple pictures he wanted me to see. He literally showed me images to...

11.04.2018

  I know. I know that what looks easy in your life takes great planning and coordination and a whole lot of work plus a little bit of luck.  I know that your body may be still right now, but your mind is on overdrive. You’re thinking about your to-do list and your grocery list and that thing you wish you hadn’t said and that person from middle school who still has no idea how much they hurt you. I know your brain never stops. I know you need a break but can’t seem to find the time, and I know you perform a million little tasks that aren’t noticed unless they’re not done. I know, from one woman to another, the invisible weight you always carry. I might not know all of your specifics, but I think I know how you feel. I know you wonder sometimes if any of it matters at all, if the details of your days add up together to equal anything that’s making a difference. I know you wonder if anybody really sees you -- the real you, behind the put-together facade you show the world. I know you’re afraid that you’re messing it all up, and I know you regret what you...

24.10.2017

  When I magically and mysteriously become inexplicably rich, the first thing I will do is hire someone to clean my bathrooms. The two children I gave birth to have been granted that great privilege now, and their skills are still somewhat, shall I say, lacking. Their top priority is to finish, not necessarily finish well. And bathrooms need to be cleaned well. That brings me to the task I just completed today - the deep cleaning of a bathroom my dear offspring only surface cleaned. Sigh. It made me feel like a pig. I'm one of those people who hates visual clutter and who actually enjoys organizing. But apparently when it comes to deep cleaning, I turn a blinder eye than I realize. I got on my hands and knees, a la Cinderella, wiping down cabinet fronts and scrubbing baseboards. Can we talk about what disgusting dust collectors they are? And the unbelievable amount of hair I apparently lose each day? Bleh. It's easy to ignore it when it's not right in your face. But when you're crawling around at ground level, it's right there in your face. And it's gross. So like any woman worth her salt, I began the negative self-talk. I fussed at myself for...

23.10.2017

  Humans are, by nature, goal-oriented. We are a people who plan for the future and work in the present for that unseen yet approaching reality. This is, perhaps, why we love our weekends so much. In our relationships, we know what we want and what we want to improve. I want to communicate my emotions better, and I want my marriage to be a model for my children. In our work, we set goals to motivate us when the day-to-day gets hard. I want to make more sales this quarter than last. In fitness, in faith, in housekeeping and health, we decide what's next and what we want to achieve. We're goal-setters. That's who we are. What do we do, then, when we meet a goal and are unsure of what's next? This is where I am. This is the space I'm living in right now. A place of uncertainty. In the last few weeks, I met every major goal I had planned. I released a book. I ran a marathon. I spoke at women's events. All of the things I had been planning for, thinking about, training for, and preparing for are over. They are done. The goals were set and achieved, and there's nothing huge on the horizon. Everyone keeps asking...