Encouragement Archives - Page 3 of 4 - JennieGScott.com
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09.03.2017

  Dear Divorced Mom, It sucks, doesn't it? This whole being divorced thing. Whether you wanted to be or not, here you are. A mom who used to be married to her kids' dad and now isn't. The divorce changed everything, didn't it? Your life as you used to know it is gone, and whether that's a good or bad thing, nothing is the same. Holidays are different. Schedules are different. Family dynamics are different. You feel like a failure, sometimes, don't you? You feel like less of a mom because your kids aren't always with you. Secretly, you feel like a fraud and a part-time parent. You think about the time you miss with your kids and are insanely jealous of people who don't have to spend weekends without their babies. You hate using a calendar to keep track of the days they're gone and the vacations they're taking without you. You cringe and feel embarrassed whenever someone asks, "Do you have the kids this weekend?" You know it's not natural. You know they should be under your roof. You walk into their empty rooms and feel an aching sadness that doesn't end until they walk back through your door. You feel sometimes that "divorced" defines who you are. It...

27.02.2017

  The song lyrics rang through my earbuds as I ran, repeating the Scriptures that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I nearly threw the earbuds across the sidewalk. I felt anything but wonderfully made. I felt like a mess, and I felt like crying. That morning as I dressed for my run, I saw stretch marks across my hips. Wrinkles around my eyes. Gray hair littering the brown. The mirror showed me the reality of my body, and the reality was hard to take. I saw a mother past her physical prime, one who keeps drifting steadily away from what the world says is beautiful. As the song played in my ears, I felt the elastic of my shorts cutting into my thickened waist, and I felt my body protesting the workout I was determined to master. The words I heard didn't match the emotions I felt, and I scoffed at what the Scriptures said was true. Nothing about me was wonderful, and everything about me was fading. I huffed around the track, trying to improve the physical me, and I struggled greatly to believe that even as I am, I am loved. The Creator of all I see formed me in the womb. He saw me in the hidden place. My...

20.02.2017

  It's time we stop lying to God, and it's time we quit withholding the truth of how we're doing from the One who already knows. We've learned to keep our real emotions stuffed inside, haven't we? When people ask how we are, we've learned they don't really want to know. They want us to answer with the socially acceptable "Fine," and we know if we dared to unload what's really on our hearts, they'd run in terror and never ask us again. You know what my "fine" was hiding this week? I feel like there's an anvil on my shoulders pushing me into the dirt. I can't shake the feeling that every decision I make as a mother is ruining my children. This nearly 37 year old body has seen its better days, and I need to just get rid of every mirror in my house. It's hard to believe God could ever look at me and see anything worth loving when others who were supposed to love me forever didn't.   And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm keeping back the really good ones. No, we don't need to unload our deepest struggles on unsuspecting acquaintances, but we do need to take them somewhere...

09.02.2017

  Husbands, do you know how very important you are to your wives? Not just for practical reasons like killing spiders and changing the oil, but for heart reasons? For helping her believe she matters? For pushing her to reach her dreams? In a time when many voices are shouting to your wife, your voice matters most. Your words can make or break her. The way you treat her can help her become the best version of herself or a shadow of who she should be. Women in 2017 are fiercely independent and strongly opinionated, but we are also deeply in need of the love of our men, and these two facts are not mutually exclusive. We are strong and we are needy, and our needs are not a weakness. They are a sign we were created to live in community with others, particularly with the men who were created to be ours. There are many things we want you to know, but we don't know how to tell you. We want to help you understand us, but we're afraid of being a burden. Even to you. We want you to know these things: We want you to pursue us and plan for us. When...

26.01.2017

  There is a risk God has asked you to take, and there's an excuse you're giving for why you won't move ahead. What is that risk? Will you give it a name and acknowledge its existence? Less than a year ago, God told me to quit my job. He didn't speak in a booming voice, and there was no literal writing on the wall, but through a series of gut feelings and confirmations from others - including people I didn't even know - I had no doubt about what he was saying. He was saying it was time for something new. And I was scared to death.   The risk he was asking me to take was to quit my job and trust him, and the excuses I gave were varied and justifiable. What about money? What about the house we just bought? What about the fact that I know absolutely nothing about the path you're pushing me down? What will people think? What about my lack of qualifications? Oh, I had a million excuses for not moving ahead, and even looking back now, they were legitimate and very pressing. But they were also rooted in fear. I knew what I was supposed to do. The wheels had been in motion for...

22.01.2017

  What a strange, complicated, divisive few days these have been. The inauguration of our new President has brought out strong emotions in virtually everyone I know, and the internet has shown me the opinions of those I've never met. I never want to contribute to the negative noise so present online, and I'm praying these words will provide hope in the midst of these times. I'm praying my words will ease the sting of words directed to you, public school teacher, and that my words will serve as a reminder that words matter, words can hurt, and though the words of others may be loud, they can still be untrue. It was said to our country that ours is "an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge." When I heard these words spoken by a very powerful man, my eyes filled with tears. A deep sadness overtook me for what you heard and what is believed about you. Then an abiding anger made me shake and made me want to shout the truth from the rooftops. Although I am not currently a teacher, I am only months removed from that sacred occupation, and I know...

16.01.2017

  My cell phone rang, and when I glanced at the caller, immediately my heart began to pound. The illuminated screen showed the caller was the school district I had just interviewed with, so the news would be either very good or very bad. Either they wanted me or they didn't. This call would tell the tale. I needed a job, and I needed it badly. Years before, I had taught 7th grade English full-time, but when my children were born, I left work to mother them full-time. I loved every minute of being home with them, but my impending divorce and new status as a single mother demanded a paying job. And it demanded it now. I picked up the phone and squeaked out a "Hello" through my quivering voice. The principal I had just spent time with spoke, thanking me for my interest in their teaching position. Then he spoke the word "But," and I knew I wasn't their choice. He kindly explained they had chosen a candidate with more experience, and he wished me luck in the future. I managed to disconnect the call before I burst into tears. Then I wept uncontrollably. The previous eight weeks had been the most excruciating of my...

11.01.2017

  At 36, my childhood feels like it was a zillion years ago. I remember playing in the creek with other neighborhood kids for hours at a time, heading home only when darkness enveloped the skies, and I remember the hours I spent playing with my Barbies. My childhood included lots of time outdoors, lots of time reading, and lots of fights with my sisters over the bathroom we shared. The world of the 1980s was drastically different from the world around us today, and when I compare my life then with kids' lives now, there are more differences than I can count. I can't help but wonder how different the world will be when my children are adults. If I'm honest, it scares me half to death. I don't want to look back with rose-colored glasses at my childhood and pretend the world had no problems then. Certainly it did. There were actual wars and a cold one, drugs on the streets and blatant discrimination. I remember a hurricane destroying part of my state and a space shuttle exploding before our eyes. People's lives were hard, and the problems they faced then hurt just like the problems we face now. But the world feels more complicated now, doesn't...

01.01.2017

  In my house live a stubbornly independent 11 year old and a precociously rambunctious 10 year old. Add in two set-in-their-way 30-somethings, and you have a delightful recipe for some conflict. We’ve moved past the days of children flinging their food on the floor and splashing in the toilet for fun, and they’ve learned not to hit and bite, but they’re still kids. And that means occasional disobedience, rowdiness, and talking back. The kids act like kids sometimes, so that means they misbehave. And when they do, I feel exhausted and depleted. I feel defeated and ineffective, and I feel like I still - 11 years later - don’t have a clue what I’m doing. (Don’t ask me where I got the idea that raising children would be picturesque and easy - I grew up in a house with four children, and our lives were never reminiscent of Mary Poppins. I guess I thought my unrivaled mothering skills would raise children who were practically perfect in every way.) On the days my children do and say things I’d rather them not, this is what goes through my mind: Um, for real? Have they not lived here their entire lives? Do they think the rules...

04.12.2016

  Maybe I'm the only one who has days where I feel ugly, fat, and stupid. But I'm guessing if you arrived at this post, you probably feel that way too. Some days, for no particular reason at all, I wake up in the morning and just feel blah. Inferior. Incapable. Unable to move past the voices lying to my heart. Ugly. Fat. Stupid. I try not to compare myself to other women, and I avoid the 'keeping up with the Joneses' game as much as I can. But my enemy knows where I'm most vulnerable, and my Achilles heel is not feeling good enough. My weakness is wondering whether I'm doing enough and whether I myself am enough. So that's where he attacks. His plan to defeat me often involves degrading my appearance, and he's done it since I was 12. I know this about him, but knowing doesn't always prevent believing. Where does Satan attack you? Maybe he doesn't tell you you're ugly, fat, or stupid, but maybe he tells you you're a terrible wife. A distant mother. A sub-par business owner. Maybe he whispers that your personality is boring, or your giftedness is a joke. Maybe he reminds you of a decision you made...