Finding My Style

For the past few months my mind has been consumed with home design. What color do I want to paint this wall? What new / new to us furniture do we need for our new house? How many throw pillows are allowed in my budget?

Before I could determine wall colors, furniture, and even throw pillows, I had to figure out my taste and what I like.

My style has evolved over the past few years. I describe my previous style as whatever I could find at thrift stores / what was on clearance / what people gave to me. Things I used to love, I don’t love so much anymore. And that’s okay! It’s good to change and evolve in every area of your life – even your design taste.

It’s been interesting to really evaluate, look at designs that inspire me, and try to figure out what I’m going to surround myself with that cause feelings of joy! I want our space to feel cozy, fresh, and welcoming. I also knew that Luke and I collectively like natural elements like wood and plants, appreciate color, and are drawn to mid century modern furniture.

I like the mixing of colors, plants, patterns, and textures of Bohemian style, but I also love the foundation of mid century modern style. One day on a whim, I typed both styles in the Pinterest search board and it all fell together like magic! It was what I was picturing in my head. It was SO cool to see it vividly displayed in front of me.

Here are some pictures that I am using as inspiration as I put together our spaces. Click for attribution. 

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I love how each room is exploding with color and texture!

I’m excited to spend time putting together each room! After the Holidays I’ll really focus in on bringing this style to my whole space one room at a time. You can follow along with my Pinterest board as I continue gathering ideas and inspiration!

I’ve realized that it’s important to live in a space that inspires you to be the person you want to be. Loving my space encourages me to make better choices and discourages laziness.

I’m excited to share these projects here on the blog! Any activity I can have that keeps me out of the snack cabinet is worth sharing!

Also, if anyone is getting rid of colorful rugs let me know!

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Navigate Change. Stay Consistent.

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That title is an oxymoron, but totally sums up my current season of life. A lot of change is happening and I have to figure out how to navigate those changes, but stay consistent and on plan.

Change is good. We have to adapt to what’s going on around us and come out with a positive attitude. A couple of months ago, a whole Sunday at Vertical was dedicated to the subject of change — Growing People Change. Definitely worth a listen.  We discussed how change is the fuel for growth in our lives. I really track with that.

I can’t expect my circumstances to stay the same. If I want to grow, I have to expect change. I’ve navigated this concept pretty well in most areas of my life except one. The Ideal Protein protocol / eating well / being healthy. For too many weighs in than I’d like to admit, I’ve cried in Brittany’s office and told her that when I started Ideal Protein ______ wasn’t going on, ___________ wasn’t as stressful, ____________ was different.

Basically, life happened. Things are different in my life than they were this summer. I’m busier and have a few more things added to my plate. Some good, some not ideal. I adapted in every area, but food. I threw my hands in the air and quit. I didn’t have my controlled environment like I had when I started and wasn’t able to handle the pressure of dealing with life’s circumstances and practicing self control when it came to what I was choosing to eat and how much I ate.

This again revealed how weak I am in the area of self control. It proved that I need God’s grace and strength more than ever. Instead of rising to the occasion, I crumbled. I shrunk back.

Sometimes I feel like stressful situations give me a free pass to eat how much of whatever I want, whenever I want. That’s simply not true. That mindset gets me in more trouble than anything else.

Who am I to think that life will be perfect? That stressful situations won’t rise up? That changes will happen whether I like it or not?

Navigate Change. Stay Consistent.

I’m repeating that statement over and over. I want to stay consistent in my eating and planning when there’s more on my plate than usual. It may not be the funnest, most convenient, and easiest thing to do, but I know that I can succeed and ultimately I know that it’s worth it.

Here are some things I want to start doing to be consistent:

Plan. Plan. Plan.

I want to spend time at the beginning of the week, Sunday afternoons maybe, thinking through what I have going on every day. I really want to think through when / where I’ll be eating, what I’ll be cooking, and if I’ll be eating out. My personality type likes preparation and making a plan, but doesn’t really like sticking to the plan. I’m going to try to figure out how I can make a plan that I like, and actually stick to it!

Think Long.

Lately I’ve had trouble seeing past the food decision at the moment. I haven’t been able to rationalize and look at the big picture. I haven’t been able to pause and tell myself that I really don’t need that snack right now, that I’m eating because I’m bored, or the cheeseburger is only going to taste good for moment.

This phrase is helpful, “What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows.”

Set Myself up for Success.

When I am prepared in all of the different categories of my life, it will result in good decisions. When I keep putting things off and choose to have a Netflix marathon, I’m setting myself up for failure and laziness. Rest is good, yes, but I don’t need to “rest” all afternoon / evening after work.

Setting myself up for success includes basic things like making a grocery list, waking up on time, spending time reading the Bible, preparing lunches ahead of time so I won’t have to eat out, etc. SO  many things! So many things worth doing for the big reward.

I know that I can be consistent in self control. I know that I can make good decisions through stressful times. Now, it’s just time to want to do it. I’m taking it day by day, week by week. The goals are fresh and the motivation is there. Let’s kill it this week. – JJ

My Talk on Shame

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This past Saturday I had the opportunity to share my story at a Womens’ Event at my church. My talking theme was Shame. In true blogger fashion, I wrote out my whole talk. I thought I’d share it with you on here.

This is my official follow up to a post I wrote a few months ago. The post I’m referencing is something I wrote and I titled Shame is Not Motivation. In this post I shared a story that brought on years of shame and how God has redeemed a particular story.

After I published that post something happened.

Now, I’m not bragging on my blog or my writing by any means, I’m bragging on God and how he can redeem anything.

That blog post, one I didn’t want to write, was read 10 times more than any other post I’ve written. After I shared that story, I received comments in person, online, and in private messages from people who were deeply affected by that story and sharing with me their own stories of shame.

I hit a nerve when I openly shared my shame story. I pressed my finger on an issue that was affecting people from every walk of life. That response told me something about people.

Shame is a huge subject and people are having a hard time letting go of shame and letting God redeem it. I am fully confident, I’m living proof, that God can take our stories of shame and redeem them to something beautiful.

Maybe you’re replaying your shame moment or moments right now? It might look nothing like my story. We’re all different and struggle with different sins.

Maybe your shame story is a secret buried so deep down that you would never dream about sharing it with anyone?

Maybe you don’t’ even talk to God about your shame because that means you have to dwell on it and deal with it?

What do we know about shame from the Bible? My mind immediately goes to the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:22 tell us that, “the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”

Thing thing I most love when thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit is pointing out that the fruits are not individual. We don’t get to pick and choose which fruits we want like in the grocery store.

They come in a bundle. They come as 1. It’s Fruit singular. Not Fruits plural. We have them all. Once we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. They were not originally there within us. This isn’t like the toy that comes with the batteries already included.

Do you recognize what isn’t there on that list? In the fruit bundle? Shame.

Shame is not on that list. Shame comes from our flesh. Our flesh is who we were before Christ, before we become believers. Our shame can be redeemed. God is in the redeeming business.

He makes old into new. He makes sin into grace.

One of my favorite truths to cling to when shame starts to rise up in me is in 1 John 1:9. “When we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Another favorite truth that I find myself repeating over and over over in times of distress is from Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

You know what else can’t separate us from God’s love? Our feelings. Or the way we look. Or the things we’ve done.

These scripture verses all together: the fruit of the spirit, how he is faithful to forgive, and knowing that nothing can separate us from God’s love, should move us to stamp out the shame in our lives.

I’ve got some ideas on how we can prune out the shame that keeps us from being the confident women of Christ that we are called to be.

Our confidence doesn’t come from us, it stems from Christ within us. Shame hinders our confidence. Shame snuffs out truth. Shame brings out feelings of inadequacy. Let’s move beyond it!

1. Address the situation internally.

Feel your feelings. Replay the memory no matter how hard it is. Let yourself feel. Don’t stuff it down. The worst thing you can do is ignore it.  It’s like knowing there are month old leftovers in your fridge and you don’t clean out the tupperware.

Go through it in your mind and ask God to remind you of his truth. Remind yourself that you have the fruit of the spirit and shame isn’t one of them.

Remind yourself of the way God forgives.

Remind yourself that nothing can separate you from God’s love and acceptance.

Open up that tupperware and deal with it!

2. Get it out.

Now, you don’t have to write a public blog post like I did, although you could. It was very cathartic. Saying the shame out loud — no matter how bad you think it is or the flip side of how insignificant you think it is – gets it out of your head.

Now, I’m only 27, but I know that the longer things rolls around in my brain the wilder they spin out of control. Once the secret is out it loses its power.

Talk to a trusted friend, pastor, church leader, counselor, family member, literally anyone who cares about you.

3. Rinse and Repeat

Getting it out there is a healthy and important step to allow God to redeem your shame, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel it again. It doesn’t mean that the feelings are automatically gone or the memory stops replaying.

Rinse and repeat in the way of when the shame feelings rise up, let it happen. Feel the feelings. Remind yourself of the 3 powerful truths 1. Fruit of the Spirit. 2. The way God forgives. 3. Nothing can separate you from God’s love and acceptance.

You may have to say it over and over and over again, but there is mighty power in Jesus’ name and word.

In my experience, when I’ve allowed myself to feel the feelings and ask God to rescue my thoughts, he does. Over time, the feelings don’t rise up anymore.

I want to leave you with this. Don’t let shame hold you back. Don’t let it be the thing that’s keeping you from God’s purpose in your life. If you have the Holy Spirit, then you are capable of overcoming shame no matter what it may be.

Sin is all equal to God. And we have All Sinned. We are the ones who grade sin from not so bad to terrible. Deal with your issues.

We are living in a culture where no one wants to feel anything and we distract ourselves with something pretty.

Let’s be different. Let’s be strong enough to recognize that God wants best for us and doesn’t want us covered in shame. We are free. Live like it!