I wish I had her long legs. fuller lips. thicker hair. perfect teeth. she's so perfect. if only I had her wardrobe. her house. I need to work out more. get a flatter stomach. I look fat today. why don't I look that good in photos? how does so and so get so many more likes than me? Why am I losing followers..
The thoughts were constantly running through my mind. Instagram and other blogs were becoming a place to compare myself. To be dissatisfied. Discontent. I was slowly being consumed rather than being the light and encouragement I know God called me to be.
I am going to be real honest here. It is scary, and not easy for me to share, but so much of this life is not easy. Life was turning dark and I could feel depression creeping in. I had slowly been making this blog my idol. Focusing more on it, giving more energy to it, than my relationship with the Lord. Than being a good wife and mommy. It scared me, and when I started to believe that I was fat, that I needed more clothes to make me happy... I knew something had to change.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
From a placard at Hobby Lobby to the verse of the day on the radio, this was the word God kept putting in my face. It broke me. I was living this life, hating who I was yet trying to put on a mask and encourage other women! It wasn't working. One morning I heard the Lord speak to me, "are you willing to give it up for me?" I knew He was talking about my blog. The Instagram page. Everything I had invested so much time and thought and effort into. Could I? I wrestled for a few days, but ultimately I knew I could. I had to.
It was a hard decision for me. I was in the middle of negotiating a plan to work with a dream company. A company that reflects my exact heart! But it wasn't working out. I struggled with disappointment. I believed lies that I wasn't good enough. It was the final straw and I decided to take a step back.
I spent two whole months away from anything related to TBL. I stayed off any social media. Didn't check my email. I focused on my family. I got back in the Word. I prayed. It was like a breath of fresh air. More than that. It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, like a fog cleared from my eyes. I had perspective back. I had joy back. I didn't need to worry about what anyone else thought. The pressure of needing to be perfect was no longer there.
As the end of my fast drew near, I became nervous. Did I go back? It felt so good to be off social media, to not worry about likes and engagement and all that. Don't get me wrong, it is important. It is what brands look at when deciding to work with you. But ultimately, I saw it as worthless. It doesn't matter how much engagement I get in the long run, as long as I am obedient to what I am called to do. As long as I am speaking truth and light into other women's lives. That is how TBL started and that is how it is going to continue. From now on, I will post when I feel led. I'll let God do that talking, I'll let Him do the guiding and inspiring. And prayerfully, through it all, just one life will be changed because of it.
I am still human. I still have struggles. I'm just more prepared for the battle. I have begun meeting with the sweetest lady who is quickly becoming a friend and mentor. I only post when I have something to say and I make sure not to spend my whole day on Instagram scrolling through photos. I love what Pastor Dave Love said in his guest sermon today, "Take the step, make the investment, and your heart will follow." Whatever we are investing our time and energy in, that is where our heart is going to be. I'm choosing to invest in my faith, my family, and you, my readers!
Here's what you can expect from Teddy Bears and Lipstick :
All outfit posts will show at least two ways to style something. I want to encourage you that you don't need a huge wardrobe to make many looks. I also know that is a practical way to help you guys out in the fashion realm
I'll continue to do my monthly collaboration with Delayna. I had a great response with that collaboration, you guys love seeing things on different body types.
The #momproblem series. I hope to do at least one a month and have my first in the works! Here I will feature a fellow mama and her personal mom struggles when it comes to fashion. I take you shopping, help you stye looks that solve these problems, and then feature you here! If you're interested in doing this, send me a message! (we can even do it through a style box type deal if you live out of state and would like to try it ;) I am beyond excited for this!
More personal growth and encouragement. I want to be real with you all, my life is far from perfection!
1. You are far more than the clothes you wear, the job you have, or the house you live in. None of those things define you. You are a beloved child of God. You are beautiful, created exactly as you are meant to be.
2. It doesn't matter what other people think. Don't waste your time and energy worrying about that. I know it is hard. I know those are heavy chains that you can't break on your own. (if you ever want to talk, message me!) There is so much more to life. Ultimately our purpose is to love people and show them Jesus.
3. What you invest your time and energy in, that is where your heart will be. It is okay to take a step back from things that may be unhealthy for you right now. I had a couple people think I was crazy for stepping back from social media, that it was a business and I needed to focus on it now if I wanted to succeed. I know my success comes from God, I am just his and it was far more important to focus on my health and the health of my family. If you need to, take a break!
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