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It’s funny how, without meaning to, we can get stuck seeing ourselves a certain way.
Until recently, I’d feel bemused (and even confused) whenever someone complimented me on my appearance or clothing choices. I’d smile and say thank you, but still, a voice inside would say, Oh, if only they knew …
Sure, I might appear to be a grown woman wearing a nice dress, but inside of me lived a shy, vulnerable girl who chose to wear prairie dresses and cameos in homage to her early literary hero, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Lest you think I exaggerate, I will include photographic evidence.
As you’d expect, I got teased about my clothes a lot; even my good friends thought they were weird. I hardly ever felt like I was wearing the ‘right’ thing, or that I was ‘cool’.
By contrast, my husband Jonathan remembers looking around his middle school, wondering at his peers’ collective obsession with being ‘the cool people’. Then he had this epiphany: “Wait a minute … I am the cool people!” I wish I could have gone through life with this same assurance, but then, I’m guessing that this realization came easier for him. After all, he never wore a sunbonnet to school.
Friends, I’m going to share an excerpt from a new book with you today. But if hearing the words ‘daily devotional’ makes you want to bolt, I understand, because I feel that way sometimes too.
Daily devotionals and I have a checkered history, as they tend to trigger perfectionistic thinking. If I’d miss a day, I’d start to feel bad about myself, thinking, Shouldn’t I be more disciplined?
And at some point I’d start comparing myself to the author, thinking, Shouldn’t I be ‘more spiritual’, more like so-and-so? Then I’d end up feeling like I’d failed at loving God if I admitted that the book was hurting rather than helping. In short, daily devotionals equaled a big mess.
But today I want to tell you about a book that has been a safe place for me to heal from all that. It’s called Journeying Through Lent, and it’s by my dear friend and fellow writer Brooke Adams Law. (You may remember Brooke our Spend It Offering Light series.) The book is on sale at Amazon for $1.99, just in time for Lent, which begins Wednesday, February 18.
Friends, a few quick notes to start:
A Wish Come Clear celebrated its four-year blog anniversary on January 16! I had every intention of publishing that day, but life got in the way.
In the past week, I’ve faced a host of physical issues. (I’ll spare you the details, but don’t worry, nothing is serious, just unpleasant.) Naturally, I did not appreciate this. Who enjoys letting go of their plans, taking pills, and slowing way down? Not me.
However, there is a silver lining. I’ve had practice letting go of judgment and self-blame and choosing kindness, which is a spiritual workout.
Plus, I’ve realized on a visceral level that I have so much to be thankful for. I mean, I get to write posts that thousands of beautiful, wise people such as yourself actually read! And we’ve been doing this together for four years now … ?! What a gift.
Which reminds me: since I’ve been publishing less frequently here while I’m writing my next book, I’ve been posting more mini-stories on Facebook and Twitter. I invite you to like and follow and join the conversation.
But if you do click over, don’t forget to come back and read the story below … I’m sending it your way with love.