The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule. Do you remember the first time you heard it? Maybe it was spoken by a parent as you were picking at a sibling. Maybe a teacher as they were listing the classroom rules. Maybe somewhere along the way you just heard it. Believed it to be a long-standing societal rule: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

The Golden Rule. You know it now, right? But where did it come from? Your parents? That teacher? The government?

Luke 6:31. It was spoken by Jesus to his disciples along with some other commands.

Jesus’ call to “do unto others as you would like them to do you,” was a call to treat each other with the same kind of love and respect we would in fact treat ourselves, but also spoke to the way we treat those who may not treat us with kindness.

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” Luke 6:32-35,NLT

I encourage you to go back and read these verses replacing “sinner” with the words “the world,” since we are encouraged to be different from “the world.”

Not expecting we are to be treated as the elite, but we treat others as if they are, expecting nothing in return. Putting out the kindness, compassion, and love we want to see in the world, because we have a duty as believers in Christ to be His reflection of those things in it. And showing it not just to those who love Him, or who we love; but who don’t know Him and who could not care less about us. So that they know His love, and see it reflected in us in a world that shows anything but.

That is the Golden Rule. Lived out. In us. Through us. To others. Daily.

How can you be a reflection of it today?

To The Young: You Have Influence, Too

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12, NLT

Today’s post on Christian character is for the younger folk. Those growing up and learning how to navigate the nuances and social expectations of the world. It can be difficult to walk the thin line between what the world expects, and what your faith demands. These things are in constant conflict, and we, as parents, just don’t often know what this is like.

We, of course, know what it is like to be teens. It is hard. We have all walked the line between the expectations of the world, those of our elders, our own, and what we know to be right, or even wrong. We just didn’t have the internet, or phones at our fingertips to document our every move. If we had bullies, we could retreat to safety at home, and leave our bullies at school. Turn them off until the school bell rang the next day. And if we took a picture or someone did find something out about us, we didn’t have a tribe of people calling for us to be “canceled,” or jumping in on the smear campaign because it was the “cool” thing to do. Things really were just “different.”

I talked about integrity yesterday, and it doesn’t just apply to adults. It’s the same concept no matter your age. Are you who you say you are at home, and out in the world? At church and with your friends? Do you show Christ everywhere, or just at church?

You may be young. You may be influenced by social media. You may even be triggered by the mixed messages from the things you see from it’s sources, or the people you follow. Feel you don’t measure up.

However, you still have an influence on the world around you of which you may not be aware. Especially when you let others know you believe in Christ. There will be expectations of you. Yes, even when you are young. Even on your social media profiles, and no…it won’t feel “fair.” It will likely feel like it’s one more expectation someone has of you of which you will never measure up, but it is the most important expectation. It is the one God has of you.

He does not expect you to be without a few mishaps. A few blemishes. A few bruises. What He does expect of you is to put aside the world’s expectations. What Facebook. Instagram. TikTok think for a bit, and worry about what He thinks. Walk in the way He expects. And remain honest and true to His ways. A person. A young man or woman of integrity.

No matter how young (or old) you are.

The Path of Integrity

People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall. Proverbs 10:9

What exactly is integrity? We often throw that word around. Use it to describe people who do or even don’t possess it.

A person said to have integrity is someone described as having a moral compass that does not waver. They aren’t one way here, and one way there. They are honest in all dealings, speech, and they are the same in every place they go. Not shape shifters.

Evidence of shape shifting came to mind to me earlier in one of the places I don’t particularly care to be. Airports. I enjoy flying. Well, let me rephrase this: I enjoy being on the plane. Book in my lap. Taking a nap. As it seems everyone else does, too. You know…enjoying your ride in the “friendly skies” as the slogan goes.

But something happens once those feet hit the ground, I suppose. We become a little less friendly. I didn’t complain about my less than friendly experience waiting in line at the Starbucks kiosk, because the complaining would not have changed the experience. I simply told my family that I was going to walk in the way that showed the world something different on this trip instead.

I said “excuse me.” “Thank you.” “Have a great day.” “Go ahead of me.” Things that just seem less commonplace these days in all our rushing along our paths.

Seems so simple. Such an easy thing to do. But if I were to have to answer the question are you the same in the pulpit as you are at home? Are you the same at work as you are at the airport? Are you the same on Sunday and on Friday? I want the answer to be yes. I want all my paths to be straight. I want to be considered a person of integrity.

There are a number of ways in which we can veer off the path of honesty and integrity and walk onto one that is crooked and intended to cause destruction. We will talk about some of those in later posts. One easy way is in our simple acts of unkindness. The simple ways in which we treat the people we meet on a daily basis, while professing to honor Christ. While professing to be a loving people, yet planting our feet in the ground and walking into places with unfriendliness. If someone were to pass by you in the checkout line on a Monday, what would they see? Would they see you smiling and saying “thank you” to the cashier, or grumbling because she bagged your groceries incorrectly.

Integrity. It’s in the big things, and the small things. And even the small things determine if our paths grow crooked and destructive.

Today, don’t just make it a mission to remain friendly while your in the “skies,” or in the pews. Make it a mission every time you have your feet planted on the ground, and every time you have people who could very well be watching you.

Promises of God: A New Path

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

I love to read. I love to write. Written words are often easier for me than those spoken, and all through school I looked forward to English classes. Well, until it was time to study poetry. The process of breaking out words, stanzas, and trying to articulate what the poet was trying to convey? I just didn’t get it. Because a whole glob of feelings and experiences could be written on those short lines. The poet chose those for these reasons, and my literal interpretation could often be way off from its original intent.

Like this one:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

This poem is well-known. Perhaps it’s the depiction and pictures often laid out alongside this one that come to mind first. A fork in a clearing. Two paths. Oh, which one to take? The pictures and Frost’s words always made me visualize the difference between walking on a well-worn path. One filled with lots of people. Or choosing the one that is overgrown and rocky. No one usually chooses the rocky one. The well-worn path is easier to navigate. There are people along the way on that first one. It has been walked before, and there are no signs of danger. It’s just easier.

When reading these words presently, I think of two other paths. The one the world chooses, and the path of God.

We can often stand at a fork in the “road.” Stand in the midst of our spiritual path, and wonder which way to go. Do we choose the path that is easiest? The one that promises riches, success, and fame? The one that is easy to fall in line with and navigate because so many have walked it before? Or do we choose the one filled with rocks? It doesn’t always offer a quick way out, or a get it fast solution. It is filled with directions that can be seen by the world as rigid or intolerable.

It’s the one often less traveled by, and it does make all the difference. The best part is our guide is along for the journey, offering us directions to navigate the rocks, hills, and valleys along the way. If we are willing to choose this path, He gives us a guidebook to help us walk along it. And if we stumble over a few rocks, He provides us the way to get back up.

If you are walking along that easier path, still stumbling, surrounded by lots of people but still lost. No one to guide you. Maybe it is time to choose the one less traveled by. There are people along this one, too. Who can point you to the instructions God has laid out for our walk in the Bible. And God himself, He will take your hand and guide you along the way.

It will make all the difference.

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What happened when I deleted Facebook

If you have been around for a while, or ever seen my YouTube videos, you know I deleted Facebook about 8 or so months ago. I had my various reasons why; some that had to do with my overall well-being. Regardless of those reasons, stepping away from the ever-popular app has had benefits, and has been eye-opening.

First, I am going to take a queue from Paul here and mention, “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23. You may have no problem with Facebook. You may be able to scroll and it not affect you. Let me just say-it was not beneficial for me.

Here are the various things that have been good for me. Things I learned and have gained since my Facebook exit:

I didn’t miss the 100 or more obligatory Happy Birthday posts.

No, I really didn’t. I had maybe 10 instead. All sent to the place where meaningful connections usually take place. To my actual phone number. I didn’t miss the birthday wishes that only came because an app reminded someone to do it. Instead, I enjoyed those from the people who actually remember my born day (Shout out to those who do!). Called. Sent meaningful, heartfelt wishes, and I love you’s. Simply because they know. They may need a calendar to tell them it’s my special day. But they don’t need a social media notification to do so.

I began to engage in meaningful conversation.

Think about it. How many of your conversations center around what you saw or read on Facebook. I’ll admit for a while I had a little bit of FOMO. “I didn’t see it, you know…deleted Facebook.” Thought I was missing the latest and greatest. But after a while, I noticed I engaged less with those who spent all their time trolling, and commenting on social media concerns, and more time having real-time, face-to-face conversations with people. Learned more about them, and who they were beyond their latest post.

I turned off the “noise.”

And for a while even the news. No, I didn’t bury my head in the sand, and pretend the world wasn’t still spinning in utter chaos…I just chose to engage in reputable sources. Those without comments from people arguing back and forth. I read and formed my own opinion, without all the “noise” in the comments section; or from the news feed convincing me how I should think.

I turned off the “noise” in my own head.

As I mentioned in my video about my decision, Facebook left me anxious. It provided me with a very negative mindset. It also allowed me to judge people in ways they may not be, simply because they posted or “liked” something. It left me in a constant state of comparison to others “highlights,” and left me feeling like my life was empty and meaningless. I questioned motives. I questioned intentions. It was bad for my headspace. For me. That’s my personal experience. Yours could be very different.

I learned who was really down. Who would reach farther than the social media messenger function.

Look…I’m just being real. I’ve had the same phone number for 16 plus years. It’s been inactive only when I’ve been out of the country, which was no more than 14 days in those last 16 years. Social media is not my only connection to the outside world. I have unlimited texts and phone calls, and I can count on my two hands how many have used this method to still keep in touch. Those would be the “loyal” circle. If social media kept you in the “circle,” and now you have cut that“circle” off…my dear, I’m fine with a smaller one. Harsh? Possibly, but it’s the straight up truth. Connections with people should go much deeper than a random Facebook comment, or “thumbs-up” here and there.

I realized…lives are not often a true reflection of what is posted.

Don’t let social media fool you. Since I have had more time to really talk outside of apps, I have learned that marriages that look the happiest aren’t. That the people that look their “best,” are struggling with their self-esteem. That the houses that look the “cleanest,” have dirty corners no one dares mention. The family on that dream vacation has been at each other’s throat the entire time. No one shares these moments. What you are seeing on Facebook is highly curated posts and updates only highlighting what is good. Stop comparing yourself to what in most cases is a false representation of the people behind the “happy” smiles. There is truth to that often referenced quote: “People are not always what they post to be.”

I had more time to do things I had put off for so long.

Without the desire to check on likes, statuses, messages, and post every single moment, I created space to update my “read” list (books that is). Write AND publish a devotional instead of a Facebook worthy post. Study for an exam I had to put off. Focus on my mental health. Actually enjoy family dinner without phones. I had time to declutter. Time with friends. Time with God first thing in the morning, and not my news feed. And none of this newfound time and connection involved scrolling through endless media chatter.

I found solace in a more private life.

A media hacking may have forced me into the need for privacy, but I found that when I shut off the app, my desire to post every single detail about my life also shut down. I still share. But my kids are no longer the subject. My grandchildren are for me (and their parents) to enjoy and raise. My private moments, are well…private. I now blog my deeper thoughts. Journal. Or just say nothing, and I realize that the more people know about you; know what you are doing, where you are going, who you are with, what cause you are supporting, what moves you are making; the more they can use against you. When I stopped posting every little thing, I learned to move and accomplish things with the support of my biggest (physically present) cheerleaders, and not the constant peering of a social media “crowd.”

I don’t even miss it!

Look. I get it. It’s hard to pull the plug. You want to keep your distant relatives posted with cute pics of your kids. You want to see what your “friends” from high school are up to. But could a photo sharing app accomplish the first? Could a birthday phone call do the trick? And about that high school acquaintance…well, is there a reason they need to keep up with you? Or are you secretly hoping your life looks better than theirs? Or even better than it did in high school?

What now?

Personally, I don’t miss it. One single bit. Really. Why? Because my life was full of negativity and uncertainty with it. Most especially my worth. Now? Well, my life is just full. And I don’t have to tell all my 500 plus “friends” it is so.

Not ready to pull the plug completely yet? Try it for a month. Then tell me if your experience is anything like mine. I’d love to hear all about it…just not on Facebook, of course (see the Get Social Page for alternatives).

Making peace with the Proverbs 31 woman

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the Proverbs 31 woman. I had a desire to be this Biblical gold standard, but then at other times, it seemed to be another standard I could just never live up to. I mean, really. Come on. She finds wool and flax, and spins it (v 13); she plants a vineyard (v 16); and she makes her own bedspreads (v 22). I don’t do any of this!

I decided to turn my love/hate relationship into one of understanding.

Who is she? And why is there an entire chapter devoted to her in the Bible? The last chapter of Proverbs, in fact; when so many others have focused on a different type of woman-an evil, manipulative, promiscuous, and adulterous woman. One who uses her beauty to deceive and lure.

Maybe because she is in fact the total opposite of those described in Chapters 5, 6, and 7. One closer to God. She is more than a woman who is “bitter poison” (5:4), or “cares nothing about the path of life” (5:6).

She honors God. Loves God. Does His will. Seeks Him first.

The writer of this well-versed chapter makes this difference known in the very first verses of Chapter 31. According to the author (King Solomon…who actually needed this advice), King Lemuel was actually given this advice from his mother: “Don’t dilute your strength on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.” Proverbs 31:3, MSG. Those chronicled in those earlier chapters; those that bring destruction. Momma goes on to describe what kind of woman she desires for her boy.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12, NLT

Virtuous. Other translations describe her as noble. In other words, righteous. Good. Honest. Upright.

And she isn’t just trusted and honored by her husband. But most importantly-God.

Momma wanted the King to find him a godly woman. One of integrity. Honesty. With strong moral character.

One who was the same in secret as she was in public.

Our Heavenly husband desires this as well.

If you look back to those other chapters, those women (and ladies…let’s not be remiss to realize that men can be these things, too. This isn’t just for the ladies)…what do we find? Worldly qualities. Things folks desire simply from seeing, hearing, and trusting things other than one’s character. “Words like honey.” (Proverbs 5:4). “Lustful beauty and coy glances meant to seduce” (Proverbs 6:25).

The P31 woman is much more than looks, charm or words. She walks with God, and she mirrors His ways. When she speaks she doesn’t speak words to deceive or beguile. She speaks words of praise. Encouragement. Truth in love. She is a woman of integrity, and God has confidence and trust in her decisions, because they match the truth she reads. The life she lives, and the way she speaks.

She desires good for everyone. Not destruction. Most of all, she desires God.

And she desires Him for others, too.

I used to hate her, but now I love her. I used to want to be anything BUT her, but now she’s all I want to be.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:25-26, 30

That’s a godly woman. A woman of truth and integrity. A woman I long to be.

Note: Now that I have made peace with the Proverbs 31 woman, and continue to find peace with myself, I have some ways for you to do the same. Come back this weekend for an exciting announcement!

You can go here, but not there…

There is something about being at the beach that seems to bring about the idea that life really does make sense. Maybe it’s the salty air. The sounds. Or the fact that our ever moving minds and bodies are truly in “vacation” mode. But here…I hear His Spirit once again and it revives me.

As I took one of my long morning walks along the shoreline, I took note of the pattern and rythym of the waves and thought of their movement. How do they know where to stop? The waves that is. How do they know how to get to shore, and know they can only go but so far?

I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. Jeremiah 5:22

They can only go but so far. God created boundaries so the earth would not be covered by the sea. As we walk along beaches we trust in the one who demands the wind and waves obey. Knowing they cannot cross His boundaries.

But what about those boundaries he sets for us? What happens when he tells us “You can only go this far?”

Do we listen? Or do we venture out on our own into territory He hasn’t set out for us?

Just like He commands the seas to stop at a certain point. Tells them you can go here, but not there-he sets the boundaries of right living for us as well. “You can go here, but only this far. Going any further without my guidance, against my better judgment will consume you.”

He provides us direction and boundaries because His way is always far better than ours. The direction we want to take isn’t always the one God intended. So in an effort to ensure we are not tossed by the waves, or consumed by the waters of the sea, He tells us, sends us as far as He is willing to let us go.

His boundaries are to protect not to harm. His boundaries are set to keep us safe, not to stifle us. His boundaries are set because His ways are higher than our ways.

Are we going to trust His judgment? Or are we going to stray too far away? Are we going to keep pushing boundaries until we are taken under?

What boundary are you pushing that is keeping you from going where God intends for you to go? Maybe it’s time to let Him direct you, and finally listen when He says, “You can go here, but there? I am not sending you there.”

Dandelions and Jesus

My 7th year. I am coming to the end of my 7th year of this counseling youth gig. Of stepping inside schools to hopefully provide safe space for those that just need a breath of fresh air. A minute away from pressure. Someone to guide and direct them to share and express their feelings in a way that is healthy.

For the first couple years, I hid God while in those schools. Hid my Bible verse tattoos. Hid my Bible. I was scared to mention His name. Mention anything related to Him because well, I walk the halls of public schools. That is a “no-no” in these halls. The one year I did shed the long-sleeve shirts, and left my Bible in plain view? Well, that was a year filled with strife and battles. Pain. Heartache. Opposition. One I will never forget.

But…I don’t hide Him anymore.

While I don’t walk the halls thumping people over the head with a Bible, when I have an office, I still keep a Bible in it. I still pray daily before each session with each client. I still wear my cross and my Bible verse tattoo out in the open. I don’t hide, but I don’t shout it from the rooftops. Public school, remember?

So, I have found it interesting that even though I never say His name, these are the conversations I seem to be having week in and week out?

“If I wish on this dandelion do you think God will hear me?” This is the question I was asked as we went on our weekly “walk and talk.” Originally, I was surprised by the question. He had never mentioned God in our conversations before, and neither had I; so why now? And how did he know I was safe?

And I realized, I never had to mention Him by name.

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6

He knew to mention God because I had shown God to him. Through my actions. I never had to say a single word about Him, I simply had to show up and be like Jesus in each and every encounter on those walks.

How? Quite simple, really. I was known by my fruit (Matthew 7:16). The ones mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Those of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I never had to say one word about the Bible. Never had to mention Jesus by name. I just had to be like Him, and people saw Him in me.

This teen, though too cool for school most days. Angry, yelling and ready to yell back at any adult most days. Taller and much better at basketball than me, wasn’t too cool that day to stop and make wishes on dandelions. He also wasn’t too cool to ask tough questions about God, or even talk about him at school.

Why? Because someone had been patient. Someone had been kind. Someone had been gentle with their words. Shown self-control in their responses when he was upset.

Someone was Jesus.

I have had many conversations about Jesus prior to this day. I don’t tell people in my secular role that I am a pastor. Once they find out they often treat me differently, or are more guarded. I simply try each day to be Jesus with skin on as I walk into a session with each person who is sitting with me. Whether wishing on dandelions, shooting baskets, or playing a game. I try to be an example of Him everywhere I go.

Some may have tried to diminish that light before, but like dandelions-the hard to kill weed-the light can survive and thrive in the most hard to reach places. It grows in conditions that seem unfathomable (even out of concrete sidewalks), and it’s hard to miss their bright yellow blooms, or their dry seed heads in an open field. It’s hard not to want to pick one up and make a dandelion wish.

It’s hard not to notice the light of Jesus, when you are displaying His fruit.

Give yourself permission

I’m a helper. An empath. A person who moves in compassion, and this only becomes more apparent in times of crisis.

I also like naps. Netflix. But I don’t like feeling helpless. I don’t know how to respond when the world says to stop moving . When before it’s all I’ve ever known to do. Move. Act. Respond.

As I’m standing in my kitchen, making phone calls. Some that go unanswered, leaving me wondering how to move. How to act. How to respond. I glance over at the Bible I have placed on my kitchen counter. Glaring at me in bold print are these words: Permission to Rest.

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. Mark 1:32-34

I can relate. Now, I am not Jesus. I am not driving out demons. But I have moved, acted and responded at the drop of a hat. Moving to crisis after crisis. Acting on behalf of those who couldn’t for themselves. Responding to needs, even when I had my own.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

He gave himself permission to just stop. To rest. To not move. To not act. To not respond. to simply be in his Father’s presence.

And today…it’s OK if I do the same.

While I may feel helpless. My heart may be telling me I should do something. Maybe what I really need to do is just give myself permission.

Permission to rest.

Permission to move in living room dance parties, and nature walks with the people who love me.

Permission to be silly. To perform acts of love, in small doses. A little at a time, but maybe just not right now. Not right away.

Permission to respond…but later. And know that if I don’t, well it’s OK.

Today, I give myself permission.

“Feeding” a different beast

This past summer I spent the entirety of my time off in a period of self-care and healing. Working on and loving who God had created me to be. Part of that was understanding just how much I was loved. Through that process, I spent a lot of time in His Word, writing down a number of verses that spoke to my identity in Christ.

Thirty-one verses from God to remind me how awesome I was. That I could flip back to on those days when I didn’t feel so awesome.

But had I? Had I used them?

For about 2 weeks now there has been this on-going battle in my home over social media, whether or not to let the middle have Instagram to be exact. In the same 2 week span I’ve listened to parents who have struggled with setting limits with their own children over media usage, watched kids seek attention in negative ways, and even discussed the ways in which social media makes them “look good.”

Then yesterday in my own journal I wrote this:

I’ve been very distracted lately, Lord. It’s been hard to find my center. I’ve been distracted by people. By work. By media. By the news. And when I sit alone in this chair, I can’t filter it all out, and I get discouraged by what I have seen and heard all day. It’s hard to feel like I am succeeding in Your Wisdom when I am distracted by all that looks anything but kind, but instead looks ugly and dark. 

No, I hadn’t flipped back to those pages. I had scrolled through Pinterest looking for all the right words to make myself feel better when I felt ripped apart by mean ones. Vented on Facebook about crappy people, and the need to be more kind, but had I sought truth from His Word? Had I looked to Him to remind myself whose I was? No. I was distracted by my feed. And when I wasn’t distracted by those voices and trying to feed my soul with feel good videos, I was distracted by all the stories of evil lurking in the world. Discouraged all over again.

I can’t make media go away. It’s here to stay. It’s getting into the hands of kids at younger and younger ages.

But I can choose not to be distracted. Not to reach for it to validate what I may be feeling in the moment. Instead of reaching for His truth or calling out to Him.

I can set the example at least in my own home with my daughter. And, yes…maybe even for others. Because whether they want to admit it or not. They are watching. And what message do I want to send? That love comes from Him? Or how many likes, hits, streaks (whatever), retweets I get on a given post?

That every time I have an issue or have something to say it needs to be shared? Without consequence? That is why I write. To remember. But not everything is Facebook worthy. Not everything needs to be said out loud. Or should be posted for the world to see.

I want girls to know their worth cannot be measured by the number of likes they get on a picture. That life is also unfiltered, unaltered, completely messy, and not usually a highlight reel. That bodies come in all sizes. Even “pint-sized…,” like me. And most of us, yeh, we don’t “wake up like this.” I want boys to know that they are more than a rating scale. That God thinks they are a perfect ten. Even the ones that don’t fit in anywhere right now. That it is OK, more than OK to be nice. To be a gentleman. To stand up for a woman (or a boy) being treated badly. That’s the kind of man I would want in my corner!

That is what I will be sharing from now on.

Unfiltered. Some days with no makeup on. Some days in my pjs. Maybe days my face will be tear-soaked. There will be highlights and lowlights. It will not be perfect. It will be flawed. Guaranteed.

But fearfully and wonderfully made. Molded and made new. Loved by God in all its mess.

Just like you.