The 24-hour Woman

“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man.” Those are the lyrics in a perfume commercial from 1980, it was sung by a beautiful, sexy woman with pouty lips. The tag line was Enjoli- the 8-hour perfume for the 24- hour woman.

I clearly remember walking around my parents’ house singing and mimicking this woman. I would have been eight at the time. That was just the start of a lifetime of commercials, ads, and worldly influences telling me I not only have to be a 24-hour woman, I also need to be a perfect and complete 24-hour woman.

It’s no surprise I have fallen into the trap of thinking I need to be perfect in every way. I often feel as though I should have a house like Martha Stewart, a heart like Mother Theresa, and a body like Jillian Michaels. Let’s just say I am 0 for 3 and I don’t expect any changes in my stats anytime soon.

I know I am not alone in this. I know it is a common trap for most women. I have seen in myself and in others, the countless hours spent, wasted really, on things that don’t truly matter in an attempt to achieve some level of perfection, or at minimum a level of “good enough”.

But who decides what “good enough” is or looks like? And who are we trying to be “good enough” for? And how will life be different when we finally become “good enough”?

When I sat down and answered those questions for myself, I realized my motives were all wrong and my pursuits were all in vain. I had bought into the lie. I had bought into the need to become the 24-hour perfect and complete woman. I had forgotten that in Christ I have already been perfected forever!

When we give our lives to Jesus, he marks us approved, perfected, pure, and blameless. We no longer need to strive for the approval of those around us. We no longer need to try to fit the ideals the world puts on us. We no longer need to wait until we are good enough to be happy. When we belong to Jesus we are all we ever need to be.

It’s not always easy to stay in that feel good Truth. I still get caught in the good enough trap from time to time. I find myself needing to lose that last ten pounds, or researching the latest cellulite cream, or buying a new outfit that I really don’t need because I need a quick feel good fix. The good news is that now I realize when I am getting sucked in and I can go back to the Truth that says not only am I good enough, I am better than that! I am perfect and complete right here, right now, and so are you.

I encourage you all to take a few minutes to honestly answer the good enough questions. Are you pursuing the wrong things for the wrong reasons in order to impress the wrong people? Are you wasting precious time, energy, and money on things that don’t really matter? Whatever your answers are, I pray you find hope and peace as you meditate on the Truth of today’s verse. I pray you let it sink down deep into your heart and that you go back to it whenever you feel yourself falling into the 24-woman trap.

For by one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity]- Hebrews 10:14 AMP

Grace, peace, and a perfected by Jesus day to you all,

Jen

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The Day of Small Beginnings…

I have been waiting for this day for a long time- the day I sit back down at my computer and write a blog. A few years ago I wrote Monday through Friday as if it were my job. I had over 600 posts. During that time I thought I was working my way towards being the next Joyce Meyer (or at least a local author and speaker). I believed God put those desires in my heart and I had faith that God would make them happen.

Then life dealt me a series of blows that slowly took the wind out of my sails. It seemed I would just recover from one hurt or loss and another would hit. Sometimes I didn’t even have time to recover from one before the next one occurred. I no longer had the words to write.There were many days that all I could say was “God is good. God is faithful.”, and those words were often spoken in hope more than in faith.

Days turned into months and months turned into years. After struggling so long to keep my faith, I had completely given up on my dreams. I prayed God would take away my desire to write and speak. I refused to get my hopes up anymore.

God didn’t answer my prayer. Instead, He sent people into my life to breath encouragement into me. It was so frustrating! I would get a forwarded email from a friend regarding a writing contest with a message that read, “Saw this and thought of you”. I wanted to respond with “Haven’t you heard? It was all a mistake. I thought God called me to write and speak but I was wrong. I no longer entertain those silly dreams”. I resisted that desire and simply replied “Thank you.”

I cannot tell you how many times people sent me emails about writing contests, self- publishing information, or speaking opportunities. It seemed funny that when I did have faith nobody sent me those things but as soon as I decided to give up then I am flooded with them. Okay, maybe I wasn’t flooded, but even getting something every few months was frustrating. It’s hard to put out even a flicker of faith when God keeps sending people to blow fresh hope and fan the flames!

So here I am, taking a step of faith for the first time in many years. This blog may not contain any of the mind-blowing insights (okay maybe not mind-blowing, but insights nonetheless) I have written in my many journals (gifts that were given to me by my annoyingly encouraging friends ☺), but it does contain the most important part of me. It contains my heart, the one thing I believe God called me to share with others. The one thing I have kept guarded from others and from my dreams for the last few years.

I have decided to believe in my dreams again. I have decided to trust God again. I have decided to listen to the still small voice and the voices of those God put in my life to encourage me, rather than the voices in my head telling me I will never ever be anything more than what I am today.

If you have given up on your dreams, I would like to be a voice of encouragement in your life. Please email me under the Contact or Prayer Request page.

To all of my annoyingly faithful and encouraging friends, I would like to say thank you for having faith in me, especially when I had no faith in myself. I wouldn’t be able to take this first step without all of you!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.-Zechariah 4:10a NLT

Grace, peace, and a day of small beginnings to you all,

Jen

ps I feel the need to tell you that the entire time I was writing I had the Gene Autry song Back in the Saddle Again running through my head. It’s good to know I am still as random as ever 🙂

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