If you are a woman reading this blog, you probably understand that being a woman is hard. You no doubt feel 199,999 messages on who you are supposed to be being delivered to your brain on a daily basis since the dawning of your existence.
The precious voice deep inside that draws out the deeper, real you, is drowned out by the noise of the world that tells you that you aren’t good enough unless you are X, Y, and Z.
It’s that deeper voice that I have longed to be validated for me. The voice that says, I am good enough exactly how I am—at this weight. With these clothes. With this salary. With this amount of children. With this job. I am precious just like this, so accept myself like this BUT don’t be afraid to want or strive for more.
I am not saying Rachel Hollis has “earth shattering advice” but Girl, Wash your Face, is a great reminder to women to help drown out the noise that is all around us. I am a Jesus follower and I get my strength from Him and His promises, but it is also nice to read a practical, everyday approach to the scripture I have inside my heart. This book is the girlfriend’s reminder that we don’t have to believe the lies we have been so accustomed to living by.
My Promises to Myself are Important-Chapter 2
I am a professional educator. I show up for meetings. I move mountains for the success of my students. I don’t break promises to my daughter. I follow through for my family.
So why oh why oh why oh why do I make promises to
Work on this blog
and I break them every time? I make excuses day after day or cave into my fatigue and feelings. When I break a promise to myself, I am reinforcing in my brain that I am not important. My dreams are not important. My goals and hopes and potential are not important.
Not only is it a lie, but it also is a slap in the face to God who created me to do hard things. He made me to be healthy and whole. He loves me, so I should love and care for myself too.
Codependency is not a Love Language-Chapter 5
Rachel titles this chapter, “Loving Him is Enough.” And her story is different than mine, but both rooted in some sort of codependency.
Having just walked out of a divorce and waded through the pain of the aftermath, this chapter spoke to me. For a long time I thought getting married and being someone’s wife would make me happy. And it did…for a bit.
I thought if I poured my whole heart and soul into being this perfect wife that I would receive the love I wanted in return. I sacrificed a lot of myself, my dreams, and my goals because of the codependent nature of our existence.
It was difficult to stay in growth mode unless my spouse was growing. I felt like I needed him to be pursuing passions and be driven in order for me to have permission to do the same. Never did he actually say this out loud, but it was our unspoken expectations and the dance we did. And it wasn’t healthy. I’d step out a little and grow and then shrink back in fear if he wasn’t doing it as well.
I didn’t make a lot of good choices to move forward in my potential, not because my spouse told me I couldn’t, but because I had it in in my own head that I needed his approval and needed to see him stepping out in his potential if I was going to do the same. I had confused the “husband leader” idea in a Christian marriage to mean that I couldn’t grow if my husband wasn’t growing the same way. That his leadership meant he had to forge the way for me by doing what I needed to do for myself. I forgot that God made me strong and I was strong before I met him. Marriage didn’t change that.
God breathed dreams directly into my heart and I should have kept pursuing my potential within my marriage. Instead I gave up on myself. When you don’t pour into yourself, you cannot appropriately pour into others.
Focus on Your Goals Instead of a Timeline-Chapter 10
Nobody writes in their 12 year old dear diary that they want to be divorced at 37 and starting over. We all think we are going to be married, having kids, making a certain income, etc by a certain time. Life happens and it doesn’t always go that way.
I personally thought at this point my husband and I would be adopting kids, debt free, and pouring all of our extra income into building a non-profit to leave a legacy. Instead we are divorced, sharing our child (peacefully I might add) and I am paycheck-to-paycheck learning to live on my own income.
It’s all good though. I KNOW that God breathed dreams deep inside me and they WILL come to fruition. It just isn’t happening on my timeline. But God’s perfect timing is always best.
We Can Do Hard Things-Chapter 15
Rachel tells the story of her brother’s death and how it impacted her life. It was traumatic to say the least. Although not everyone has had a moment such as hers, we have all had moments of trauma that leave us with a choice.
Stay damaged or turn your trauma into triumph.
Getting a divorce was traumatic for me. In the midst of it all, my grandfather passed away and my step-brother committed suicide. I spun out of control in my mind but appeared to have it together-ish on the outside. I was in deep, deep pain navigating my next steps of life and got involved in relationships too quickly.
YOLO doesn’t make sense when you are in pain. I am so thankful that God kept pursuing me and my heart while I kept making mistakes. And I finally listened to that voice deep within and was brave enough to trust God 100% and believe that He made me to do hard things. Including supporting myself and co-parenting peacefully with someone I once committed my whole life too.
I had to trust God first and He would work out the details.
He is taking my trauma and moving me triumphantly forward into a fresh future.
I can do hard things!
We Were Made for More
God made us in His image to bring hope, love, and light to this world. He didn’t make us to sit on our couches, wasting away our hours on Netflix, and scrolling our phones.
He breathed dreams into us, little or big, and He has the strength available for us to run, not walk, but run towards our dreams.
Rachel encourages us over and over to rise up and live each day like we were made for more. Not in the way of entitlement and pursuing a material life. But in going after your passions in pursuit of the life that spreads your light to others.
We can do this, friends! We can wake up early, eat healthy, work on fitness, be good spouses and parents, love our neighbors, and work full time. We can do it all, but not in our own strength. In His. He has it waiting for us. It’s our choice to rise up and take it.
If you are needing that practical reminder that you are made to do hard things, then order, Girl, Wash your Face and then let me know what you think in the comments.
Start where you are and keep making your house a love filled home.
High five for home.