I am thankful for…

At my job, every day we start the morning by sharing our good news.  Sometimes it is a struggle to think of something, but I can appreciate it all the more because it forces me to chase the good and positive.  

Even if I have been dog sitting another puppy all weekend and I feel like I cleaned up more messes than when we were in the thick of potty training our pup Blue.  Even if I am struggling to adjust back to North Carolina busy life.  I know that my good news this morning is that I got to spend some much needed quality time with my husband this weekend and that we actually weren’t that busy the past two days.

So here is my challenge to you—life is hard, and busy.  There is always something responsible to get done, like laundry and the dishes.  There is always something that will throw off your routine, or be frustrating.  The good news is that you are in control of yourself and how you react to things.  My challenge for you is to chase the good.  Do it with me—every morning think of what your good news is.  

Did you just get a cute new pair of shoes?  Did you successfully try a new recipe?  Did your kid accomplish something awesome, like good grades?  Did you have a great date night?  

Be thankful.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  

It isn’t going to do your life much good if you are only thankful on Thanksgiving.  It is time to create a habit of gratitude.

our Thankful family our Thankful family our Thankful family

Until next time,
Jamie out

Dear Quiet Girl

Dear quiet girl, 

I don’t care if you are 11, or if you are 19, or if you are 37. The world probably tells you that you need to change. That it is wrong for you to be quiet. That what you really need to be is outspoken and outgoing. And you feel that every day.

What I really want you to know today is that you are beautiful just the way that you are, and that you do not need to change.

My story

When I was younger, I was very shy.  I know that’s not everyone’s story—one does not equal the other—but I bet a lot of you can relate.  

Maybe it wasn’t really shyness—it was just being uncomfortable in situations where other people seemed comfortable.  When I didn’t want to speak up or be the center of attention.  When the ice breaker was my worst nightmare and it just made me uncomfortable. 

That’s my story, of being a quiet girl growing up in a society of outspokenness.  In a society that views my quietness as being wrong, or abnormal.  I’m like Rory on Gilmore Girls—sometimes I would just rather read my book than join a club (although that isn’t always the case).

I grew up thinking that my quietness was wrong, and my shyness was abnormal.  I hated myself, and by the time I was in college I got really angry at God for how He made me.  No matter how hard I tried to be different than I was—to be outspoken and the life of the party—I just couldn’t.  I started to push against God in anger and I started making bad life decisions because I wanted Him to prove that He really loved me.

It took a little while for my decisions to catch up with me and by the time I entered my mid-twenties, I was completely broken. 

Thankfully, through that brokenness I found my confidence.  Through that brokenness, I found who I truly am.  It wasn’t who I felt like I should be.  It wasn’t who society told me I should be.  But it was exactly who God made me to be, and who I had been all along.


The comparison game

As women we play the comparison game a lot.  We judge our insides against someone else’s outsides.  We see someone who appears to have it all together and we think, “why can’t I have that?”  Which is bad enough in itself, but the sick part is that we don’t stop there.  We go farther.  We try to change who we are at our core because we don’t think that we are good enough.  

Ladies, confidence does not always look like outspokenness.  Confidence is being self-assured, not just in WHO you are, but in HOW you are.  And sister, HOW you are is beautiful, and is absolutely ENOUGH.

I want you to know that your quietness is your loudest voice. That when people ask you to speak up, sometimes it’s encouragement and it’s okay to be uncomfortable, but other times it is just because they don’t understand you. 

One day someone commented on my quietness and I apologized. My pastor heard me and laughed, but then said, “don’t apologize for being quiet.” My pastor is a good leader and he Sees people. That is my hope for you. That you will See yourself, and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

If you grew up in the church, you’ve heard that a lot. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knit you together in your mother’s womb. God doesn’t make mistakes. 

It may seem like a cliche, but that’s probably just because you’ve heard it too many times. It has stopped making an impact on you, because you still think that you need to change. You do NOT need to change. 

Sure, there are things we can work on.  Jealousy we can work on. Greed we can work on. Impatience we can work on. But quietness is NOT a flaw and is NOT a sin. I once had someone tell me that my quietness was pride and that pride is sinful. I don’t think that person understood, but girl I get it. Your quietness is just you. It isn’t pride, although I’m not saying us quiet girls aren’t capable of being prideful. But one does NOT equal the other. 


The good stuff 

Let’s talk about some of the good things about being quiet, shall we?  

Quiet people tend to be great listeners.  Don’t you hate when you have finally spoken up and you realize the other person isn’t really listening to you?  They have that glazed look in their eye?  Quiet people are pretty good at listening to hear and understand, instead of listening for how to respond.

Quiet people are often very observant.  We invest our energy in people and situations.  We don’t miss as much.  For example, I have a really good sense of direction and I think it might be because of this.  Quiet people notice things others might not.

Quiet people usually think (a lot) before they speak.  I used to get frustrated about this, but as I grew older I realized that it is one of my strengths.  In college everyone I knew thought I was super intelligent even though I was a B average student.  I’m pretty sure it’s just because I kept my mouth closed half the time, and when I finally spoke up it was usually well thought out.  


Things to think about

If you are struggling with your quietness right now, here are some Bible verse that I want you to really dwell on this week.  Even if you have read them before—even if you want to brush them off—don’t.  Sit with them.  Rest with them.  Wrestle with them.  Come to understand them.  

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.  Proverbs17:28

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  1 Peter 3:4

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

If the world is telling you to be something you aren’t, evaluate why you care so much.  Is it your friends?  Is it people you WISH were your friends?  Are you going to lose your job over it?  Is it a good reason, from a good source, or are you just trying to impress someone who should honestly be loving you just the way you are?

God made you!  He literally delights in you.  God doesn’t make mistakes.  God is love.  And God is especially good at being God.  He’s got you.

The next time someone comments on how quiet you are, remember, you don’t have to apologize.  

Until next time,
Jamie out.

when i grow up, i want to be an astronaut // from the archives

In honor of my past love, my one and only Jamie Daily blog and her would-be 5 year anniversary, here is a blog post from her archives.  One of my favorite moments in which I share my heart for the stars and how one can feel so very small and meaningless amongst the vastness of creation. 

my first time // in boone

I have been fascinated with stars and space for years. Take me out in the middle of nowhere and I will be content to watch the skies for hours. Clouds, storms, clear nights, clear mornings, rain, lightning, moonless nights, harvest moons, full moons. Everything. It holds my awe every day.

In another life I would love to be an astronaut. Just the thought of being out in space takes my breath away—where there is no air and no sound, and there are more stars in the sky than you can even imagine. Behind you is the earth and you can see the side of clouds and storms and land that you rarely get it see, on a scale that you never get to witness, and every film you’ve ever watched about anything at all would be diminished to nothingness because your reality would be so overwhelmingly unbelievable.

How crazy is it that space is unfathomably large, and that it is always expanding? What is it expanding into? And how is it doing it at the speed of light? What is this nothingness that is becoming a space that is so huge that the stars we see might not even be alive any more? Stars that have died years and years and years ago are still smiling at us.

“How crazy is it that some of the stars we see aren’t even there any more? It’s just that their light is still hitting us. It’s like their souls are still with us.” -Ruben.

It’s like how love continues even after someone is gone. Because let’s face it, love—true love—is unconditional. It is not dependent on the actions or presence of someone. It is not an emotion. It is a choice and a lifestyle. It is an impact on your soul—an impact that will radically change you and will never leave you.

When I look at the sky, all I see in all of the beauty and the majesty, is how Great my God is. I think of how infinitely large the world is, how much larger the universe is, and how much greater my God is than that. And then there’s me, watching the clouds billow in the summer sky as I float in an above ground pool in a backyard. So seemingly small and insignificant in relation to everything else. And yet, among all of His creations, God also thought the world needed one of me too. He knit me together, knows the number of every curly hair on my head, and understands every thought and emotion that cascades through my body. He is privy to the hurricane inside of me while everyone else sees the calm in the storm. He loved me before I was born, and He knew everything I would ever do before I ever had the inclination to do it.

He knows the things that have broken me. He knows the things that have strengthened me. He has put words, and people, and books, and music, and art in my life to build me. He knows that I ache for the unconditional love that no one on earth is able to provide. And while I float on my back in the pool that man built, and look up at the skies that are stained with the colors of sunset, I see again and again the promise of forever in the presence of the God who can create such majesty.

“Live from the abundant place that you are loved.” -Lysa TerKeurst

Don’t be overwhelmed by the vastness of the universe, by the size of your life, or by your shortcomings in the face of everything. You have purpose, and that unconditional love that you are craving isn’t as impossible to find as you might think it is.

Live loved.

Should you like to read more blogs like this one, click here.

Until next time,