Blogs and Women.

What to write about today?

Oh wait, here we go already…

You can`t really judge a blogger by the topics they choose to blog about. Sometimes my most “empty” posts are written when I have so many other heavy things on my mind. I want something light– because I am feeling all other areas of life so deeply.

Then one day, I might have the most perfect of days, read an article somewhere, or a friend`s Facebook post, and have the urge to write about, something random, say, sorrow.

Sometimes I write things that in retrospect (or days later) make me feel like a hypocrite. But you plod on.

I had an interesting talk awhile back with a few other ladies that blog, and we all said blogging can really make you feel naked. People assume they know you or what you are like, or where your heart is, when it comes to priorities, interests etc. When really, a blog is one-dimensional. You can only see one part of the writer very clearly. There is a lot of spotlight area left unshined on. If you think a blogger looks perfect, has it all together… (and I dont mean me anymore, I mean blogs in general) yell this at the top of your LUNGS!

NO. ONE. HAS. IT. ALL. TOGETHER.

{I believe, every woman hides a secret area of pain at some point in her life.}

There that was freeing.

I have long let go of:

How am I coming across?

And just let this place be my scrapbook of life. Where ever whim or Holy Spirit choses to take my mind that day.

Lately, I have heard SO many people say,

“I have completely stopped reading blogs! They make me feel so inadequate.”

And here I will admit that I probably never felt as unholy as I did when I first read Ann Voskamp`s blog. <Now I think I should delete that sentence, but I`m going to leave it.

Honesty is golden. Or is it silence?

But anyway, (I`m not sure how to put this into words…) because this whole thing of comparing is kinda a LIFE lesson. And I guess I will just share how I see it for me.

I can spend my whole life viewing a 100 women and seeing the 1,000 things they have, that I do not. And somehow everything I see, in my mind is making up the perfect “package woman”. But that`s not fair. to me! I can`t BE the perfect parts of 100 other women.

If I wasted a day being sad beating myself up that I am not a:

playful mom like she is

a coupon clipper that feeds a family of 4 for 75.00 a month. (impossible!)

a hardworking canner and freezer of vegetables like she is

a creative soul like she is

a deep knowledge of the Bible like she has

in touch and in love with her husband like she is

close friends with her grandma like she is

beautiful with legs up to here like she has

able to speak and inspire in a public way like she does

gifted with a social network like she has

popular and stylish like she is

in touch with GOD like she is

kind, patient and humble like she is

ready to serve the needy and those not in her social class like she does

ready to hike, bike, and run a marathon in a moment`s notice like she does…

~~~

(Life should not feel like this.)

~~~

…You get the picture. And btw, I just made all those up– but isn`t it funny how when you read each one, a name came to your mind?

We all are given a gift to give to the world. Something that inspires and points others to God.

Jealousy is poison, it can cause us women to not even enjoy each other, or bless each other.

We have to know and believe WE have something special to offer. Spending time with Jesus and sitting in His presence and asking Him to love you from the inside out, is a great time to ask,

“God, what did you bless ME with?”

Giving your gift and being confident in it, isn`t pride. Pride is when you don`t know who the Author of your gift is. Pride is when you keep it to yourself and don`t give it to others. Giving your gift, is laying it in your open palm and holding it outstretched, for the other person to take. Take it our leave it, it`s up to you, but I am going to give it.

Now. I have shared with you. πŸ™‚ Will you share with me? I am going to ask you to leave a comment stating 1 gift that YOU in your own special way can give to the world. And then take the time to thank God for that gift. I went first.

Love you! jenny

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50 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    the gift of encouragement

  2. Lindsay says:

    thank you. I needed that πŸ™‚

  3. Carissa says:

    God gave me the gift of passion.
    And great stuff today. We all have issues with image and wanting to be perceived as blah blah blah. Let’s keep being honest, keep showing the world that our kitchens are messy, our kids have ratty hair and it’s ok!! That is what I got out of your post.
    Love ya friend.

  4. JessicaD says:

    I’m trying to come back to blogging. It feels so daunting.

  5. Amy Burkey says:

    your words:
    Giving your gift and being confident in it, isn`t pride. Pride is when you don`t know who the Author of your gift is. Pride is when you keep it to yourself and don`t give it to others. Giving your gift, is laying it in your open palm and holding it outstretched, for the other person to take. Take it our leave it, it`s up to you, but I am going to give it. ….end of quote.

    So very true and said so perfectly. And something I’ve been working/pondering on. This is one of your best posts! πŸ™‚ My gift? Being very straight forward and real. But in this time of life it doesn’t feel like a gift always. So thanks for the reminder to Thank God for it.

  6. Gina Schrock Wilcox says:

    oh you just so totally blessed my socks off with this post! (you do that alot for me!) the paragraph on pride really struck with me. thank you. I can honestly say that you have never come across as anything but lovely, true and honest to me. oh and funny and inspiring too!:) for someone I have never actually met, I feel very much that we are actually friends! (hope that doesn’t creep you out!)
    something about me that I give to those around me???? hmmmm, I think Im good at sensing when someone needs encouragement, a hug, a phone call, coffee, a meal, free babysitting, etc. I so much value honesty and loyalty in my relationships, so I really strive to give that back to those in my life.
    Wow. that was a bit wordy!:) thanks for sharing and please dont stop!

  7. Judy says:

    Oh Jenny! This is spot on! And, I will add, E.X.A.C.T.L.Y. what I needed to hear today. I’ve never felt more inadequate and worthless in my life than I have the past couple of years. Which is maybe a the long way around to humility, I don’t know. Anyway, all day I’ve been pondering Ann Voskamp’s “All’s Grace” (ironic, isn’t it?), and now I’m reading this as I wait for my last canner-full to finish (yeah, I’m the hard-working canner and freezer of vegetables ha ha), and well, slow learner that I am, I think I’m catching on…

    So. I’ve been graced with the gift of understanding. And a quick mind.

    (And yes, you are encouraging. Every now and then I get the urge to begin blogging again, and I remember your encouragement to me about two years ago…)

  8. Tracy says:

    Jenny I loved your post and to be honest I do sometimes get tired of some bloggers that make everything in their life sound perfect and delightful (which is one reason I love yours cause you are so real). Loved what Carrissa said about messy kitchens and ratty hair now that I can relate to:) I often have to remind myself to that nobody has it all together so thanks for that. And yes you do have the gift of encouragement keep it up. As for my gift I would say the gift of serving and I am also straight forward and real, (which sometimes I don’t really see as a gift).

  9. drusilla says:

    Jenny, I think this may be your best blog yet:) It is something I think every woman can relate to, I love the part where you talk about trying to be all these things that come from all these differant women, When in reality that’s not possible! My gift would be same as Tracy, Straight forward and I love hosting…The straight forward thing…hmm Maybe the gift is in knowing how to be straight forward, but with aLOT of tact an wisdom, Cuz sometimes I feel like its more of a curse then a blessing!:( Anyways, I think I might share this post if you don’t mind for my unfortunate friends that don’t know you:) Love ya~

  10. Thelma says:

    great post.
    hard question.

    my gift? not sure, maybe creativity? humor? πŸ™‚
    it’s hard to just say it because I feel like I think i’m all that or something by saying it.

  11. Aug says:

    I would say that one gift of mine is being passionate about relationships.

    I absolutely LOVED this post! I think it was RIGHT on. The more we can let go of trying to please others and wondering what they think of us and things like that, the more free we are to be ourselves and be honest and open and real. And you know what attracts people to you…when you are open and real and honest. And I find that in you, Jenny.

    Sure, we all fight insecurities. I get that. But you are totally right…we will never measure up to the ideal in our minds anyway. I love that quote that says “Be the best version of you that you can be.” Because while I don’t want to grow stagnant or not try to improve in areas of my life, I also don’t want to try to make myself into someone that I am not. Hard to balance sometimes, at least for me!

    So glad you shared this!!

  12. Shannon says:

    Loved this post. We’re women. We’re human. We’re all the same and as you said, No one has it all together. There. Saying it again makes me feel so much better. πŸ™‚

    My gift… I’m not sure. I go round and round on this and always end up wondering if I have an actual specific one or if I’m just scattered all over the board. πŸ™‚ I would probably end up in servant part of it, helping, doing, working for someone.

  13. Susanna says:

    “Jealousy is poison, it can cause us women to not even enjoy each other, or bless each other.”

    Love this. So true!

  14. Esther Eichorn says:

    Hi….this post is so very, very good! Bless you for sharing it and for being so honest! My gift is serving.
    Keep on blogging! * Esther

  15. Shelly N says:

    I love that last picture. Loving, encouraging, lifting people up by words . . . and ultimately loving them/pointing them to Jesus. That’s one of my goals and gifts, I think.

  16. Linda says:

    Love this post and something all women deal with! You said it well and I will read it again! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your heart!

    I think my gift is hosting, and in the last years I have found my passion is to help/encourage hurting people and pointing them to Jesus by speaking truth in love to them and being there for them no matter what. God has taken me to the depths of my heart in many ways the last years and now that I am open and honest I can be that way to others. I want this to be my goal and be used for God’s glory!

  17. Judy says:

    Jenny, I’m in the real-and-straightforward crowd, and just reading all these comments has made me realize that I haven’t viewed that as much of a gift the last while. It’s given me much trouble in the last few years, which is connected to the inadequacy and worthlessness I mentioned earlier. Also which is why, as you know, I stopped blogging. Not that I’ve always handled the “gift” well, but to be attacked because of it… Well, I need to process this all some more. So maybe, Jenny, you could help me do that and blog about being real and open and straightforward. πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  18. Marylou H says:

    Great post! x10 Reminds me of the verse my Mom often quoted (and her dad often before her) – They that compare themselves among themselves are not wise.

    And I’d say one gift that I have is my sense of humor. πŸ™‚

  19. Liz says:

    This is one of the best blog articles I’ve read for a while. I’ve often felt I needed to hide my talents or gifts under a bushel because of jealousy feelings from other family members and friends when it hurts so much they feel that way. I’ve often said ” just because I enjoy doing certain things, doesn’t mean I expect others to do them and look down on those who don’t ! ” Thanks so much for opening up and sharing these thoughts. I really think we all have messier kitchens- unknown substances growing in our bathrooms and booby trapped closets more than we all let on!! So lets quit trying to appear like superwomen and enjoy the life the Lord blessed us with!!

  20. Di says:

    totally true and you put it so well!! allowing God to use our gifts with open palms, so often we want to grab it and direct it in the direction we choose, instead of where God leads us. therefore all the burnout, which I say from experience!! πŸ˜‰

    my gift, uhmmmm somewhere between serving and mercy ~ maybe.

  21. Gina says:

    Do you have any idea how much I needed to read this today? This summer has been completely overwhelming to me. Among other things (like building an addition and a death in the family) my husband was ordained minister.

    Now not only do I compare myself to all the wonderful bloggers out there – but also to all the super holy godly minister wives.

    And I fall flat on my face just trying to be a mom.

    Thanks for the reminder that God has given me a gift (I’ll try to consider what it is!) to be used for HIS glory to serve others.

    I think I’ll be needed that reminder a lot in the next years.

    Thanks,
    Gina

    • Jenny says:

      i cant think of anything i like more than an imperfect minister`s wife. the “perfect” ones aren`t real anyway, and are very hard to relate to! πŸ™‚ you might just be perfect after all, gina…
      love ya.

      • Amber says:

        I can SO relate to those feelings! If there’s an image of ‘perfect ministers’ wives’ that I’m supposed to be holding up…I ruined it for the rest of them. πŸ™‚

  22. Maria says:

    I am gifted in teaching children–rinsing dishes, playing piano, learning new songs, memorizing verses, teaching them about life in general.

    I have been overwhelmed lately as I’ve been able to see how God has been working out good plans for me for all these years, even when I thought He’d stuck me off in a corner to keep me safe and out of the way. He has given me a job that is a ministry (teaching general music and piano) and I feel so blessed to have the privilege of helping train soldiers for the Kingdom as well as beginning to teach them about worship, which starts here on earth and goes on into eternity!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Love love this – thank-you Jenny! think i’m pretty real maybe painfully so πŸ™‚
    i think i do & want to befriend the underdog (excuse my term) for lack of better explanation – hope that’s a gift, i desire to reach out much more to people needing someone w/skin. bless you!

  24. Jolene says:

    “But that`s not fair. to me! I can`t BE the perfect parts of 100 other women.”

    I love this…Thank-you!

  25. Dorcas says:

    Yes, encouragement is your gift- and this post was an encouragement! Such reassuring words. I will definitely star this post. πŸ™‚ Trying to find the freedom in being myself (and using my gift??) when “everyone else has it all together” is a constant struggle for me. Comparison is crippling. I know this, but I still do it. πŸ™ Anyhow, thanks for the timely words. I needed them. πŸ™‚

  26. Kendra says:

    wow, wow, wow – how did you know my feelings? so i’m not alone? i just feel like i have to comment, but what i have to say is pretty much what everyone else said. so often i walk away from my computer with all these “i totally don’t have it together and everyone else does” thoughts running through my head. i’ve actually quit fb – this being one of the reasons. i hate how ppl can live a “fake” life online – looking perfect. i’m not totally sure what to write as my gift, but i really enjoy giving and blessing others in that way. thanks for being so real. even though i don’t know you, you’ve never come across as “fake” to me.

  27. Andrea Esh says:

    Oh this was good Jenny. My gift? hmm I think probably is the gift of mercy or something like that. Funny because I was not mercy several years ago, but since I became a mom, that part of me exploded.
    It is really hard to blog honestly and just BE without a whole bunch of disclaimers saying what you’re not. I think you do that well.

  28. Rachel says:

    SUPERB posting Jenny!
    my gift….actually, it is hard for me to think of myself as having or being that, but i want to…because of Him and who He is in my life…
    but, if i had to say? i’d probably go with:
    listening.

  29. Michelle says:

    Jenny, this post is so good! I have kept it open for two days at least just reading parts of it again and again. So many little pieces in it that I want to comment about, but especially the part that when you read a blog, you see it in 1D. I think that is the problem underneath so much of the jealousy, insecurity, criticism, comparison, and other issues. And maybe it’s part of what makes it hard to blog in the first place …. how to be honest and to portray what really is without overload. As for my gift …. I’m really not convinced that I have any right now. Most of what I used to think were my gifts feel almost more like curses right now.

  30. Rachel says:

    You have a way with words, but then, I hope you already knew that!
    As for my gift, I don’t really want to think about that, I’m selfishly being a bit bitter about what I think is my gift, and how others feel about the value of that gift.
    But your words about ‘naked’ blogging, oh they went straight to my soul. It’s been several months now since I’ve been blogging and it’s so hard to know how much and what to share. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  31. Heather says:

    Blogging, facebook and media in general have opened up a massive new area that our mothers and grandmothers knew nothing about. I do agree that it has left many women feeling inadequate, inferior, unsatisfied and in general not doing what God has planned for them. There are also many times that we read a blog and leave feeling encouraged, inspired and motivated.

    I feel like God has me on a journey and has asked me to jump off of the comparison train and has asked me to be who he wants me to be and to DELIGHT in the plan that he has for me and my life. I have the feeling this may be a life long journey. πŸ™‚

    God has given me the gift of teaching.

    Side note: Totally looking forward to this weekend. Preparing myself for some really good conversation over the racket of the kids…. πŸ™‚

  32. Marylou says:

    This post said all the right things in all the right ways.
    LOVED it.
    As much as I have at times been annoyed by bloggers who appear perfect,
    I know that a lot of the time, that is less a reflection of who they are, and more about my own issues.
    The gifts that have been present in my life, to greater and lesser degrees at times, encouragement, motivation, creativity, writing, giving.
    Thanks for this great post. I think I’m going to add a link to it on my blog if that’s ok. Blessings!

  33. Sherilyn Miller says:

    compassion.
    And Jenny, I just wanted to say too that I so often read your posts and feel encouraged, whether they are “light and fluffy” or serious. It seems that you offer a “soul rest” that is inviting. If I met you in real life I would proly feel shy (more because of who I am) and yet it seems like I could also just feel “at home,” even in your blogging there is really truly a realness. Bless your heart!

  34. Christy says:

    I totally identified about Ann’s blog even though I’m really inspired by it. Now every time I say or write something about a negative in my life I feel like I should finish it up with how I’m learning to worship God through this experience. And do I really want to be at that place, but I’m not always. Just so true that we measure ourselves by the sum of everyone, so we read all these blogs with each person’s strength combined into one superwoman we’ll never be and feel inadequate. Seems there should be another line or two here, but my brain just blinked off, so that’s all for today. =P

  35. Rachel Helmuth says:

    good good stuff. i love the thought that when you are doing and being what God created you to do it inspires me to be me. i’m also passionate about living out the gifts GOd gives to us…. only than are we really satisfied. And i know it makes our Creater one delighted person.

  36. Wanda says:

    My gift is hospitality..or fixing people’s problems…at least wanting to.;) This blog hit the spot…..lets get off the comparison train ladies. God made each of us differently; we preach it to our kids, why not ourselves?!

  37. Jan says:

    The pic of the two women πŸ™‚ made me laugh. I love blog world when other woman share the beauty and joys of their day. How fun! and I’m one of those who doesn’t think everyone else is a power woman, we’re all just striving to survive somedays and other days flow and life is full and everything, or almost, what we thought it would be at 14.
    My kids were sitting here snacking and said Oh yours is definately being a mom, cause you’re real good at giving warnings and stuff, oh and washing dishes too πŸ™‚ To be honest right now I feel so imersed in family raising I think my gifts may all have left. that was my thought when i started reading hmm, can’t even think of one – I do believe this is a time in my life that my gifts are expressed mostly within these four wall, teaching these kiddos to use their gifts for the good of each other and to see what eachother contributes to this little tribe = “stop spatting start exhorting” – for real the 4yr olds can tell you the meaning of exhort πŸ™‚ thanx for blessing our socks off – Jan

  38. kristy says:

    this is so good…. this summer it has been hard not to compare because it feels like i am stretched every which direction and how do i do well in any?

    I think my gift is serving…. i love, love doing that. and now my life is so hecticly busy it feels like i have to accept service instead of giving it. that’s hard, but maybe a good thing to show me the other side.

    thanks for the card πŸ™‚ <3

  39. Sandi says:

    Just read you post, and so agree! I love the thing of giving your gift with an open hand – I think Galen was the first I heard express it that way. As I read the comments I see how we struggle to do that; so many women said “I think this might be my gift” or “I’m not sure if this IS a gift” and other things like that. Our upbringing tends to make us think that saying “this is my gift” is too prideful. When we realize it is not us, but that God created me with this gift, it helps me to remember it is not pride, but affirming that what God does creates is GOOD. I am still learning πŸ™‚ God has blessed me with a love of music, and the ability to sing, and also with organization. It was very affirming when we went to Jamaica, and the first job they asked me to do was organizes some cupboards at the mission! πŸ™‚

  40. Rhonda says:

    hmmm. i love to write. create and dream. and i love deep conversations and getting people to share their feelings. i have been rolling the thought of starting a blog around in my mind for a long while. i haven’t simply because of the reasons you stated. i don’t want others to think those things about me. i guess i’m afaid i would fail somehow… your post gave me lots to consider. thank you. it is so very valid and practical to todays women. to me.

  41. Christie says:

    Expressing what God is teaching me through the written word. I think that is the gift I have used most often recently to reach others with His love. Thank you, thank you for this post. It is nice to know that I am not the only “blogger” out there who deals with all the emotions of presenting yourself to the world via the internet πŸ˜‰

  42. April says:

    Encouragement.

  43. amber says:

    soaking in the tub and scrolling through your blog-
    this one! oh, yes. so spot on.
    seems we as women always need reminding where to keep our focus.
    I know mine sure gets off far too quickly.

    the world wide “web” is adequately named, eh?

    grateful for all the ways God pulls me back to perspective.
    reading this tonight, being one.

    love your heart, friend.
    miss your blog.

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