I dyed my hair for the first time ever today. I’ve always been too indecisive to pick what color I’d want it, but my almost-sister-in-law finally persuaded me to try it and I’m glad she did. Some other common things I’ve never done: I’ve never gotten a tattoo. Because I don’t think I could decide what to permanently have on my body. Hair at least grows out. I’ve never gotten a ticket. I’ve never broken a bone I’ve never been in an accident I’ve never seen or read Harry Potter (I know, the most shocking one.) What’s something super common you’ve never done?
I have an unpopular opinion🙋🏽: I disagree with the message of self-love. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Self-love is focused on how your self and others view you and is dependent on their ever-changing opinions. True love is dependent on God and how he sees you and on his unfailing promises to us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our culture says self-love is how we find satisfaction and joy and peace with ourselves. But to find those things, we actually have to admit how depraved we are and deny any part that is not of Christ–the exact opposite of self-love. Jesus tells us happiness and freedom are actually found in self-denial and within him. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Jesus doesn't say love yourself and follow me. He says deny yourself and follow me. (Matt 16:24). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Self-denial is how we find real love through Christ, and in that true love we find self-love–not the goal like culture makes it, but a byproduct. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Loving ourselves as Jesus loves is a good, healthy thing. But don't make self-love your ultimate goal and the place you put your hope for joy. Make your goal to become like Christ–which requires you to deny yourself.
I will forever treasure the summers I got to spend growing up with my grandparents in my little hometown, and now I'll treasure every summer my kids get to do the same. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thankful for traditions given the opportunity to continue throughout generations, proof that a lot of the best moments are lived in the simple moments, and for intentional family members who encourage and love us so well.
When Mother’s Day wasn’t what you hoped for, because: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You spent the day serving and caring for others instead of being served, cared for, and appreciated ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You were up more hours than you slept ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Are missing your own mom, or grieve the strained relationship ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Long for children of your own ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Grieve the loss of your children ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Couldn’t be with your children to celebrate with them ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Remember that even amidst pain and grief and unmet expectations, our joy won’t be found in even the highest highs of motherhood. Ultimately our deepest joy will come not from the passing joy of a “perfect” Mother’s Day, but from a heart that abides with the Lord, in a joyful Mother’s Day and a sorrowful one.
I sent my book proposal to an agent for the first time today. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I started writing it in February, and it feels like a huge accomplishment to have finally finished it. But now it feels like the hard part is actually just beginning: finding an agent to represent me and a publishing house to publish it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I haven't said much about my book, but I'm excited to start talking about it. Here's an elevator pitch: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our culture tells women they are enough. But I have a bold proposition: to find joy, we need to first believe we’re not enough. My book explores ten subtle lies our culture tells us–like that self-love, self-care, and hustling for success are the ways to find complete joy. I encourage women to rely not on themselves and their efforts, but on Jesus and his power. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Freedom from our insecurity and shame comes from focusing on Christ, not self. Women are looking for lasting joy that is independent of how well they believe in themselves or how hard they hustle. My book will explain that the only way to live a satisfying life is to live within the mission God has given us: to bring glory to Him, not to ourselves. It’s not good news to be told your happiness and success are solely up to you - but it’s the best news to be told you’re not enough, but can be through Christ. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Reed and I both are working towards new projects and both finished big accomplishments today, and neither of us will hear back about them for a while. It feels anti-climactic to work hard on something, send it off, and then hear nothing. But it feels like we're on the verge of a new season, and I'm excited for it whether it turns out like we've hoped or not.
We're getting new carpet installed next Friday. That means we (and when I say we, I mean Reed because my job is keeping the kids out of his way) have to: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ - Finishing mudding the basement living room and bedroom ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ - Take everything out of our bedrooms and closets ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ - Paint the basement living room and all four bedrooms ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ - Repair and paint fireplace ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ -Buy, paint and install baseboard trim ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After next Friday (coincidentally one year of living here) the house will be mostly done, except for the exterior, two bathrooms, laundry room, and detail work, so I'd guess about 75% done. And Reed got allmmoossttt all of the cabinet handles on last week. So now if you come over to visit you won't injure your fingers trying to open our cabinets anymore.
Our battle for joy is not a battle over our willpower, but a spiritual battle over our hearts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When we struggle with hating our bodies, we're not in a battle over our willpower to convince ourselves otherwise, but a spiritual battle over our hearts to see ourselves as God sees us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When we struggle with feeling inadequate, our problem is not willing ourselves to work hard enough to feel adequate, but a spiritual battle to feel enough by his work and not our own. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When we struggle with anger towards our kids or family members, it's not a matter of having the willpower to have a good attitude, but a spiritual battle only the power of Christ can defeat. (Our weak willpower doesn't justify sin, but determination alone won't solve the root of our problem). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The root of our problem with impatience and annoyance is not lacking the determination to change it, but a heart that is corrupted by sin and cannot save itself. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So be encouraged: if it feels like you're fighting a losing battle, it's because you are when you use your own willpower. Except you're not fighting a mental battle of determination, but a spiritual battle that God has promised to win for you, with his power, not your own (Ephesians 3:14-21). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So be wary of people and the self-esteem gospel preachers who tell you you can overcome your struggles with determination alone. Our biggest problem is not our body image, or anger issues, or annoyance, but a heart that is marred by sin, that only God can fix. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
Mother's Day Giveaway!!! 🎉🎊⛱ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Update: @sarakclifton is the giveaway winner! Congrats Sara, and message me your address! :) We moms really want one thing for Mother's Day: Joy (well, and sleep but I can't help you with that. Sorry.) While I technically can't give you joy either, (that's Jesus' job, right?) I can give you these books that have each radically shifted my perspective on motherhood and resulted in more joy for me. And it lasts for more than just Mother's Day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We so often think that our kids are the ones who need to change, but we're usually the ones who need to do the growing. All three of these books deal with me and my heart and perspective, not my kids', but I've found that's where I see the most change in my children. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And if you don't win these books, go buy them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. Grumpy Mom Takes A Holiday, by @valwoerner. I honestly haven't even had time to finish this one yet, but the first 50 pages have already radically changed my perspective on parenting so I had to include it. She's challenging but open with her own struggles, and encourages moms not to view motherhood with a victim mentality. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2. Parenting, by @pauldavidtripp. I don't even know how to sum this one up. Not sure it could be summed up. You just have to read it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3. Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, @gloriafurman. Gloria's book shifts your eyes from the difficulties of motherhood to the eternal weight of parenting. She reminds you what is important: Jesus and setting our sights on him through all things. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To enter, do the following THREE things: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1️⃣Follow @meaganelling on Instagram 2️⃣Like this post. 3️⃣Tag one friend for each entry! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You must complete ALL THREE requirements to win. I will check! :) This giveaway is for US residents 18 and older (sorry international friends!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The giveaway ends Tuesday, May 7 at 9:00 PM CST. The winner will be announced Tuesday evening and you will be tagged in this post! :)
A few things to remember concerning the self-esteem gospel: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You don't have to hustle hard for success. You can live a quiet life. Your value is not found in what you can do for the world. Also, you don't have to live a quiet life. You can work hard and live a loud life, for the glory of God. But your value is still not found in what you can do for the world. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You cannot find ultimate joy from self-love. You cannot love yourself into contentment and joy and freedom. You cannot love yourself out of the strongholds of sin. But Jesus can. And did. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You won't find true rest in self-care. All of the time in the world for self-care still won't result in feeling true rest, apart from Jesus. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Freedom doesn't come from self-empowerment, but in the freedom Christ has given you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Happiness won't be found in that met goal, achieving that crazy business dream, or any other met desire. True joy can only be found in Christ. I am not saying we shouldn't do all of those things, but to not put our ultimate hope for joy and freedom in them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ True freedom is not the ability to do anything we want, but freedom from our sin and shame and the ability to be reunited with God. True joy is unfading and steadfast through every circumstance because it is rooted in the Lord, not the world. Joy is a fruit of the spirit, not from our circumstances. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Encouragement and empowerment and self-care and loving yourself as Jesus does are all good things, but not where true freedom lies. Freedom and joy are found not in anything we can do for ourselves, but in Christ alone.
I'm Meagan and this is my little family: Reed, blonde little Maren, and baby Sophia. My golden birthday is in 24 days (yes I just counted) and I've been waiting for it literally as long as I can remember. 🎉🎊 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I want to take this #fridayintroductions to share with you all my mission and heart for this little space. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My goal here is ultimately and foremost to encourage you towards maturity in Christ. I want you to grow in your desire to know God, your passion to make disciples, and truly believe that your worth rests on nothing you can or cannot do, but on Jesus alone. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My mission is to teach you how to discern truth. A lot of messages in our culture sound good and are smushed in between Christian phrases but have no basis in Truth. I want to help teach you how to see them on your own. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My goal is to for you to know that freedom from shame, insecurity, and guilt doesn't come from within yourself or by your power, but ultimately from Christ. We can learn healthy boundaries and seek out counseling to help us and seek healing from shame and guilt. But Jesus is the only one who can truly defeat it in our lives. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Lastly, my goal is to teach you that you don't need encouragement towards self-empowerment to find freedom and joy, you need *freedom from yourself*. Joy is not found within ourselves or our met desires, but in Christ. Empowerment is great. Putting our ultimate hope in it is not. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thinking of a friend who has a desire to learn about this or also has a heart for these things? Tag them below and invite them to join you here ❤️