Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gratitude Journal - Psalm 139:14

"I look too fat, don't I?"

My mom, half paying attention, asked me this question, as she stood in front of her full-length bedroom mirror.  She was smoothing the sleeves of her new sweater.   I sat on the floor watching. 

At 8 years old, this was one of the earliest, most repeated memories of my beautiful mom.

Whether she knew it or not, her words stung me.  Confused me.  How could someone so beautiful think so poorly of herself?

As I grew older, I exhibited the same self-destructive thinking patterns.  I'd lean into the bathroom mirror and press on my nose.  

"Too big."  I thought.   

I'd pull back my hair.  "Too thick,"  I said.

I'd go to my job.  "Too eager," I'd criticize.

"Too trusting."  

"Too different."

Forgetting my real worth eventually led to all sorts of disfunction -- relationship problems, body image issues,  panic attacks, anxiety.     

And then I had a daughter of my own.  I was broken.   I realized that I didn't want to pass this poison along to her.

Frankly, there are thousands of flaws I could find in myself (believe-you-me, I have fretted over them & tried fixing!)   And I will always aim to be better than I was yesterday.   But, how does lamenting over my "faults" express gratitude in any way to my Maker?   It doesn't.  I imagine that it stings Him, even more than my mom's words stung me.  

So today,  I am grateful not just for my awesome loved ones;  I am going to be grateful for me too.   

Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

What do you like best about you?  :)


  1. love this words! yes I agree once we became mom, our life is no longer the same, we have those little eyes look up to us so high. we are their role model! all the best ....

  2. Great post! Nice sketchbook too. I do want the same for my daughter too.

  3. I love this, Jenny! I have said it before...I think you are really an inspiration to me. I really appreciate and love your encouraging words on my blog. I have a pear shape...let's just say I have a large...you-know-what...sometimes my kids ease me about it. And although it has been the one thing I HATE most about myself my WHOLE life. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS tell me kids that I have a big you-know-what because it's full of muscles and it's what makes me able to run. If I say it enough I might even believe it myself...

  4. I don't know what lead me to your blog, cause at first i only searching sketchbook on google just trying to had some fun for forgetting my own problem that hit me lately. I was full of anger, sadness, guilty and confused inside...But you really inspire me.
    I couldn't stop thinking that i can copy your way (by making mind map and journal) to find myself (i always confused about who i am coz all this time i only do what people say i should do).
    I really gratefull that i found your blog and hopefully after i'm trying your way, i could live to the fullest. It will be kinda like visual therapy for me hehehe.

    I love you Jenny, thank you so much for making an inspiring blog.

    1. I'm so glad you're here, Zee. <3 I hope your journaling helps you too, including mind-mapping. :) Keep shining. If there is anything else I can do to help, i'm an email away.

  5. wow that was deep and very meaningful :)
    i'm glad ur becoming easier and comfier with urself. we are all unique and there will never ever be someone like us....so we should take pride in the way we are . i know wht u went through ... i can totally sympathize with u...i had a rough childhood and was very skinny compared to other kids and always my relatives and family were treating me as if i was ill or something. i'm healthy and have gotten used to the way i am and thank god, i have a husband who loves me for who i am ;)
    what i love about myself is tht i don't take everything so seriously .. i try to enjoy life as much as possible

    thanks for sharing dear

  6. thank you so much, everyone. xoxo i am so a work in progress. grateful for all of you!

  7. What a fabulous post! I can completely relate to this as a mother of three daughters and a family history of poor self image. I ask God frequently to help me and my girls to know who we are in Him, to see ourselves the way He does. The journal pages are awesome! Love the colors!

  8. Oops...didn't answer your question. I know this just proves the point, but I will have to get back to you on that one. lol. I could tell you what I like least...thanks for allowing the Spirit to use you to remind me that I haven't arrived yet. STill need to grasp His thoughts for me more...

  9. praising God with you! love the way you pointed out how Our Maker must feel. i don't know what i like best, but what a great exercise to think through/express.

  10. I like the fact that people in all walks of life feel comfortable talking to me about all sorts of things of the heart. your Sister in the Lord, Debby "Jinx" Pitts, Gloucester, MA

  11. thanks for stopping by, Debby! what a gift to be able to be so approachable. i think you all are pretty wonderful. :)

  12. you are so lovely! Keep sharing your vulnerability with us. It really does help heal.

    I don't know what I like best about me. I'm still figuring it out. I'm so critical, and rarely stop to observe the good qualities that I possess. I have a great deal of compassion, and I tend to accept people as they are, but the world doesn't really seem to value that right now. It's a little disheartening. xoxo, kp

  13. How I love this! It's so strong !