On Striving

In my head I’ve just sat down at my perfectly cleaned white
Ikea desk with my Gold initial Anthropolgie mug filled with a steaming Carmel
Latte. I’ve got my Emily Ley Simplified Planner, Lara Casey Power Sheets, &
all my color coding pens ready to plan 2015. In this moment I feel like I’ve
got it ready & better grab my gold glittery iPhone to snap an Instagram
worthy photo to post.

In reality, I’m sitting on my hotel bed with a plastic cup
of orange juice and everything strewn about the room like a tornado hit it. To
be real honest, I can’t find my anthro mug, my planner hasn’t been updated,
& those Power Sheets? Yea, I haven’t written the first word on them.

My Point?

Life is NOT what it seems.

In this Pinterest perfect, Instagram staging world there is
so much striving going on. 

Striving to be like others, to please others, &
to be better than others. 

I know these things to be true because I have been/am
doing them.

I AM striving for perfection. And I am exhausted.

So how do we stop this striving?

Preach it to yourself.

Every day we make the choice to live by faith or on our own
accord. Each decision is a testament to who we are following that day. Choosing
to follow our own emotions leads us to comparison & self-fulfillment. Decisions
of faith, on the other hand, allow us to think of the needs of others & ways
to serve our King.

2 Corinthians 4:18 states: “as we look not to the things
that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things we see now will
soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever
.”

Friends, can you imagine what the unseen things are? 
Think
about how crazy we go over the latest Target item or the coffee mug everyone
HAS to have…
those are the things that are seen. Those things are not even comparable to
the riches we have access to in Heaven.  I don’t know about 
y’all, but I want all the unseen things. 

Remembering that & preaching to ourselves comes in that moment when we compare our things to some other person’s things. It’s the UNSEEN things that matter. I love how Romans 8:24 says
it – “who hopes for what they already have?” 
Let’s be women who hope, who strive, for Heaven with Jesus & not what our IG friends
have.

Forgive Yourself.

A very prophetic lady once sang, “I’m my own worst enemy.” I’m pretty certain that she nailed it. 
I am pretty quick to forgive those who have
wronged me or disappointed me but it seems impossible to forgive myself when I know 
I’ve dropped the ball. 
I am really struggling with this in my daily life &
I know that the things happening around me are not that big of a deal in the
grand scheme of things, so why do I make them out to be in my own mind? If
Jesus, the Son of God who died for me, can remove my sins as far as the east is
from the west (Psalm 103:12), I should be able to forgiveness myself.

Gratitude changes everything.

Recently I’ve read several people using gratitude to change
their attitude. Genius, right? 

Recognizing our blessings can not only push the
reset buttons of our attitudes, but it also allows us to express Thanksgiving
to our Savior & remember that the plan we
thought we wanted may not be the plan we were intended for. 

Each circumstance & outcome is nothing new to God
and was in fact intended for YOU (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Nothing can surprise
Him or catch Him off guard. So, in that moment of striving, thank him for five things he’s provided you & ask him to hit your perspective reset button.

Contentment can kill striving in it’s path!

Let’s make a conscious effort to stop striving, friends. No
matter how perfect our planner looks or how tidy our home – there’s nothing that
can cure a spent, striving soul except drawing closer to Jesus. 

Make the right choices,
give yourself a free pass, & be thankful – your striving soul will soon
become content.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world & forfeits his soul?”  Matthew 16:26

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9 Comments

  1. Valarie
    January 14, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    Preach it girl! This is a post full of truth that we all need to hear! Show yourself grace. Let whatever you do today be enough. and know that you are not in this fight alone!! Thanks for sharing girl and happy Wednesday!

  2. Hot Tea and the Empty Seat
    January 14, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    Amen and amen! Love love that you brought to light what almost every woman (or at least me) is struggling with! It's so encouraging to hear this truth that I have been convicted with from someone else. Keep striving to be more like Christ and less like the world! I'm right there with ya, girl!

  3. The Jessa Olson Blog
    January 14, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    seriously girl. You don't know how badly my heart and soul needed this right now. You even included my favorite verses EVER 2 cor 4:18. I saw this all the time except recently when my heart has become full of jealousy and envy at other people's "perfect" life. If you need anything I'm always here fo ryou.

  4. Sarah Moore
    January 14, 2015 / 6:47 pm

    Amen, Amen, Amen! I've seen this message a lot recently and it's really hitting home how much time I spend each day trying to be perfect! I often beat myself up when I don't meet up to my own standards but then I remember that I'm not here to please myself or others. I'm here to glorify Him! Great message, Jenni!

  5. B @ The Sequin Notebook
    January 14, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Really great reminders! It's so easy to get caught up in the competition to make everything look "perfect" which can be so exhausting. Thanks for the reminder to be more conscious of what REALLY matters.

  6. Gennie Parkman
    January 14, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    Absolutely!! Thank you for the amazing reminder to have a little grace with ourselves when life is hard to handle. Hope the first weeks of work in TN are going well!

  7. Morgan
    January 14, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    SO GOOD. Thank you for sharing this. It's easy to forget that people show the best sides on social media, and we tend to get down on ourselves for not having it "all together." In reality, who really does!?Morgan

  8. Brandy Miller
    January 18, 2015 / 2:47 am

    I love this! I get so hooked on having the "perfect" … well everything. HA! Thanks for the reminder about the unseen! (P.S.- Your design makes this southern heart squeal like a little girl! LOVE everything about it! And the mason jars…. over the moon cuteness!)

  9. Martha Kate Stratton
    January 18, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Love these words sweet friend!