“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."
- Matthew 6: 27-33, The Message
After reading this passage recently, I felt oddly relieved. Like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. We're talking a backpacker in the wilderness, dragging an over-packed suitcase up a steep, rocky trail (leopard print and filled with Louboutins & wine bottles, of course), trading it in for an REI backpack (carrying things like wool socks, matches, & a Camelback). Or something like that. Us humans - we can be frivolous. We can forget what matters. We can be stupid. And here's God, calling us out.
My online shopping addiction is getting out of hand. Well, I really just window shop. And Pin things. A lot of things. I'll ask Kyle, "What do you think of this?" Which really means, "Do you care if I buy this?" And his response is almost always, "Do you just want to buy it because you're bored?"
(It's scary how much this kid gets me.)
Online browsing is a first world attempt at unwinding, but after an evening of scrolling on my laptop screen, I usually end up going to bed squinty-eyed with a longer wish list. Wasting time. Wasting life.
Missing the point.
What is the point? I find myself asking this question a lot, often in regard to this blog. Why are we doing this, anyway? What's our thesis statement for gentandthejournaler.com? Here's what it's NOT:
1. It's not about self-promotion. I sincerely hope this space doesn't give off that impression. I basically want to h i d e every time I post about this blog on Facebook or Instagram, because I'm afraid people will think I take myself seriously - like I think I'm the bomb dot com. When really, I just crave a creative outlet & love the community blogging offers. It's my shared journal.
2. It's not about promoting businesses. Although, if I eat some really great ice cream, I'll probably tell you who scooped it. Likewise, it's not about fashion or makeup trends, but if I finally find the perfect mascara I've been on the hunt for since I was 15, I'll probably tell you about it. Correction: definitely tell you about it. #teamstubbylashes
3. It's not about getting followers. I really don't care if my mom and sister and grandma are my only readers. (I live for the emails my grandma sends after she reads a post. She's so hip.)
I haven’t blogged in a while. I’d like to use the “I’ve been busy” line, but then I’d be half-lying. And if I’m anything, I’m honest.
A lot of people start blogs because they're cool people. Cool people with cool lifestyles and cool wardrobes, worthy of thousands of readers & likes & shares & attention. I'm just not one of those people. Sorry 'bout yer luck. There's another side to life, you know - a side that isn't square-cropped & filtered. A side with bedhead & heartache & woe-is-me captions & addictions & shame. Sometimes I look at other people's lives via the internet (we ALL do it), and like the verse above says, I feel like I'm missing out. Like my life isn't glam enough to be shared. Then I read passages like the one above and all my insecurities turn to vapor.
God says, Maggie, chill. You know how I work. See your life the way I see it. Steep it in my reality. My initiative. My provisions. Stop fussing. You are enough.
I blog because I don't have it all figured out. That is my thesis statement. That's what I'm doing here.
Because I still don't have it all figured out. Because words matter - everyone's. Because I'm not ashamed to share what's on my heart. Because maybe you needed to hear this, too.
Just a Saturday morning reminder that you're important, whoever you are. Your thoughts matter. So do your words. Use them. Share them. Some people are listening. Some people are waiting to hear that they’re not alone.