Something to prove

something to prove

For the majority of my 30 years on this earth, I’ve lived like I have something to prove.

When I was a child, my mom’s drug addiction and criminal record motivated this drive to prove myself. I needed to set myself apart from her. I needed to show everyone that I wasn’t like her, that I would never be like her, and that I would make something of myself in spite of her.

Then, when I was a teenager, I felt like I had something to prove to my friends. Most of my friends were children of two-parent households whose moms and dads were wealthy, white collar paper-pushers in the oil industry. I came from a broken, single-parent home and my dad was a blue collar machinist and welder. I had a voice inside my head constantly telling me that I didn’t belong. I wasn’t on their level.

So, I took all the honors classes to show that I was as smart or smarter. I joined the choir to show my talent. I was constantly striving to prove that I fit in. I drifted from social group to social group throughout the 4 years of high school, trying to figure out whether I was a punk non-conformist, an artsy free thinker, or a brainy do-gooder (this is where I actually fit). I often felt like an imposter. I always felt less than.

My low self-worth motivated many of my decisions in early adulthood. What I studied in college, my career choices and even social decisions were impacted by this incessant need to prove something. I’m not even sure who I felt like I needed to prove myself to – but there was this invisible audience inside my head telling me that until I accomplished this task, reached this status, achieved this goal (and these mile-markers shifted and changed) then I wasn’t enough.

And let me tell you, living like you have something to prove is exhausting. The weight of the expectations is crushing. There is no joy in this kind of living. Disappointment abounds. Comparison robs you of contentment.

Since moving back to my hometown, those old insecurities from my youth are trying to wedge their way back into my thoughts. Those friends whose parents worked for the local oil corporation are now employed by them instead – and since I don’t, I find myself feeling less than, again.

But you know what’s beautiful about being 30, instead of 15? You realize something: it’s all so stupid. Whenever those feelings of doubt about my worth or my significance creep into the fringes of my thought life, I have the maturity now to shut it down. I know myself well enough to know that the standard by which those accusing thoughts are trying to measure me are not the standards I care about.

I know I have nothing to prove.

I have nothing to prove because my worth is not in what I own. My significance is not tied up in my status, my title, my career choice or the neighborhood I live in. I am not less than. I am more than. Why?

Jesus.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?….No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV

I am set apart by God. I am loved by the Creator of the Universe. Nothing can take that away from me. It’s mine through Jesus.

So, no matter who my parents are, no matter where I work, no matter what my house looks like or what my children do – Jesus loves me and that is enough. I will chase contentment because the case is closed – Jesus is all the evidence needed. I have nothing to prove.

What about you? Are you living like you have something to prove? Who are you trying to prove yourself to? I’d love to hear your story.

define | five minute friday

define

Five Minute Friday: a community of writers who free write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. No editing, no over-thinking, no analyzing grammar and style. Just writing. Today’s word: define.

Setting my timer and starting in 3…2…1…NOW.

This isn’t very profound, but the first thing I think of when I hear the word “define” is the relationship hurdle known as the DTR: define the relationship. During my college years, the DTR was a significant milestone in any guy-girl interaction. If you found yourself spending time with one guy exclusively, and if feelings started to get involved, and if the time you spent together definitely bordered on boyfriend-girlfriend territory, then it was time to DTR: define the relationship.

Now that I’m married with children, and no longer on the dating scene, the DTR is a less a part of my life. But, I think that it’s a relationship practice that might be healthy in other areas. Such as, food. Work. Friendships. Habits. It might be time for me to have a DTR session with some of the ways I spend my time. I did this earlier this year when I took an extended hiatus from Facebook. Maybe I need to define the relationship with other daily habits that may not be healthy or in my best interest.

Ultimate, to define the relationship is to take a critical look at something that’s becoming a bigger part of your life and to determine where it’s going, and whether that destination is a good place. I can think of several things in my life that need to have a good, ol’ fashioned DTR.

Time’s up. 

What about you? Have you ever had a DTR talk? Is there something, or someone, in your life you might need to define the relationship with?

links + loves: spring edition

one, two, three, four

Happy Friday, friends. If you’re an Okie like me, I hope you’re enjoying the warmer weather after that cold snap we just had. Is it spring where you are? Oklahoma can’t decide what season we’re in.

I wanted to share with you all some things I’m loving right now. First is the Bite Multistick in the shade Papaya. I got a few samples of the Bite multistick in my latest Sephora order, and this color has given me all the heart eyes.   This lip color is a beautiful matte wear that’s the perfect color for spring. It’s a little dry for my preference, but I just swipe a thin layer of balm over it and it’s perfect. It’s been my go-to lip color recently. Also, it can serve as cheek color, too! Win/win.

Next is the L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lash Mascara. I’ve been using Smashbox’s X-Rated mascara for a while, but I was really unhappy with it. I was in Walgreens the other day and they had a buy two, get one free on beauty products deal going, so I picked up this mascara. It’s great! I’ve been really pleased with how it wears, the boost it gives to my eyes, and the overall quality for a drugstore product. Can’t beat the price, either.

For this third item, let me just tell you that this is what 30 is like: buying shoes solely for their orthopedic value (pun intended). I saw these Dr. Scholl’s sneakers praised over on The Small Things Blog and had to give them a try. They are comfortable and so cute, too! These shoes are a good casual choice to wear with jeans or leggings throughout the spring.

Finally, I have been wearing these Old Navy High Rise Rockstar Jeans in Olive almost exclusively over the past two weeks. They are so versatile and SO comfortable. Also, the high rise fit hides my mom fluff really well. You can usually find them on sale, which makes them a great value for the price.

What are you all loving right now? Share your links and loves in the comments!

Listen To Your Mother

A couple of weeks ago, my blogger friend/college classmate/Twitter pal Marisa retweeted a call for submissions for the OKC casting of the Listen To Your Mother Show. Her tweet piqued my interest so I clicked on the link to find out about what this show was all about as I had never heard of it. Basically, it’s a community-sponsored event where real women tell their authentic stories of motherhood – in all its “complexity, diversity and humor,” as their website says.

Since I have challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone with writing this year, I thought, why not submit something? And so I did, not expecting much to come of it but rather in an earnest pursuit of growth in my craft.

Welp. I got notified to audition. And lest you think I’ve been holding back on you on some kind of theatrical talent, let me clarify: the audition involved simply reading my piece. So, I drove the 2+ hours down to OKC on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago to read through my 5-minute work on motherhood.

I think you can probably see where this is going. I got cast in the show!

Listen to your mother

I’m thrilled, delighted and overwhelmed to be a part of it. I’ve watched some of the videos from the past years’ shows, and the ladies with whom I’ll be sharing a stage are skillful writers and compelling storytellers.

You can find out all about the show and meet the rest of the cast over on the show’s website: http://listentoyourmothershow.com/oklahomacity/

Also, if you’re local to Oklahoma, won’t you consider joining us on April 30th for this unique event that gives a voice to motherhood? Tickets are available here: http://www.ticketstorm.com/event/listentoyourmothershow2017/oklahomacityzooeducationcenter/oklahomacity/19019/

I’m anxious with excitement to hear my fellow cast members’ motherhood stories and to share my own as well. Come be a part of it and join us in OKC in April for the Listen To Your Mother Show!

Vintage Book Planter

Vintage Book Planter

A couple weeks ago, I scored some vintage books for cheap at an estate sale. I like to use books throughout our house to add depth and dimension to our decor, and also just because I love books. A couple of the books I found at the estate sale were on gardening. Since I had seen book planters on some design boards on Pinterest and because I love plants, I immediately knew I wanted to use the gardening books to make a vintage book planter.

Creating a vintage book planter is relatively simple. There aren’t many tools you’ll need, but it takes some time to cut out the hole in the book for your plants. So, be prepared for that. If you’re results-oriented like me, you might grow frustrated in the process of cutting out the hole. But it’s worth it, so persevere through it.

Here’s what you’ll need to create your own vintage book planter:

  • a vintage book that’s pretty thick. You’ll need a good 1.5″-2″ for your planter.
  • an exacto knife
  • a long ruler
  • glue or spray adhesive
  • plastic wrap or parchment paper
  • soil
  • 2-3 succulents
  • moss/rocks/beads for decoration

The first step to creating your vintage book planter is to spread glue or spray adhesive along the outer edge of the pages of the book. This holds them securely in place while you cut out your hole. You’ll have to separate the pages later as you remove the pages you’ve cut out, but the glue is a necessary step to hold the pages together as you cut.


After the adhesive dries, measure out the size of your hole with your ruler. I chose a 4″x4″ square. Then, using your exacto knife, start cutting out the hole for your vintage planter. This is the part that takes some time. Patiently (or impatiently, like me) work your way through the cover and pages until you have a hole that is at least 1.5″ deep. If you want to add a few rocks to the bottom of your planter for drainage, you’ll need your hole to be closer to 2″. Also, don’t worry about if your hole is ugly. It won’t be seen. Just take a look at mine:

Once you’ve got your hole cut out, line it with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then, arrange your succulents to your liking and fill in around them with soil. You can leave the soil exposed, or cover it with moss or stones or beads. I didn’t have any moss on hand when I initially finished my vintage book planter, so I used beads, but I went back and added moss later.


And that’s all there is to it! What do you think of the vintage book planter? A great way to upcycle an old book, or sacrilegious vandalism of sacred texts?