With Valentine’s Day, just around the corner I am sure this brings up some emotions for most women. For some it brings up what I call the reminder of a person’s singleness and the marketing move to shove that blissfully all over the place to get us to spend money. Don’t get me wrong I like spending money on pretty things, my husband can confirm that! For others, it is a day to celebrate with a loved one, getaway or stay in. When my husband and I were first married, over a year ago, I decided then that Valentine’s Day would be about celebrating his birthday as the two events are one the same day. It is important to me that he feels like he has a day just for him, not that he would ever say that he needs it.

When I was thinking about Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago, I started thinking about how we love ourselves as women and what that all looks like. Sometimes we can forget to love ourselves and we need to be able to take care of ourselves to pour out love to others. In my pondering, I kept feeling drawn back to the topic of self-love and self-confidence. I have been on a journey with both over the last year and a half and there have been some low moments, but I will get to that later.

Over the next few weeks some amazing ladies will be sharing what self-love and self-confidence means to them in their own lives. I am excited to share this little project with you and my hope is that other women can find the confidence to share their stories too. Please be kind as you read or comment as it is a very vulnerable and courageous move for these ladies to be authentic and share their hearts.

Much Love – Bern

 

 

Guest Blogger Olivia from Posie & Pine

 

Comparison is the thief of Joy

Oh how this rings so true. I really don’t know how to fully express what has been on my heart or what is going to come across but I will just write, in anticipation that my words will ring true to at least one. That it will in some way inspire you to not give up the good fight, but to keep pressing in, pushing away the lies, and embrace the joy.

In this season of my life God has been speaking to me constantly about how he has come to give life abundantly. I don’t want to live in ignorance in the state of the world, it seems every time I look at a screen it’s like seeing another page ripped away in the story of earth. of mankind. the politics, the violence. I have had to unfollow the news pages and apps because it has fueled an anxiety within me. Yet there are the re-posts, you can’t truly escape it unless you aren’t watching the screens. Anxiety is not from God. So I close the screen.

In the same way, I find myself scrolling, liking, and on the days when I am feeling low, when life is not going its best. The enemy springs to catch me at my weakest. Whispers lies so sweet into my ear, so close to home, my heart always wants to sway to see them as truth. He knows my insecurities and uses them as arrows to strike where my heart is most vulnerable. He is a thief, a liar, a deceiver… oh but he is not stupid. Beautiful women, the clean houses, the creativity, the amazing and unique ideas. All of which I feel I am not. In that moment, I think “why the heck am I even trying at this?” “Are my photos, my words, my art… are they trying to be something they aren’t?”

Oh the lies. Yet I continue to scroll and scroll, all the while feeling all the things I know as truth, the words of who I am, the things I find joy in slowly just turn to nothing. They don’t compare. What makes up my colourful soul turns grey. Comparison is the thief of joy.

So I step back. I close the screen and have a chat with myself, and with my savior. I lay what feels broken at his feet and he reminds me.

You do what you do, for you. For no one else. This is something I have given you. A passion, a unique outlook, one that solely and only belongs to you. You have been fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.

Is it ok to admire others uniqueness? Yes! Have they not been made fearfully and wonderfully also? Yes! but are they you? No. And are you them? No.

Hold fast to who YOU are, because even if people copy your work, even if you feel someone does life, work, love, better then you do. They will never do anything as you do. Embrace the differences. You have been created for a purpose.

I have had to learn to step back when I need to, leave the screens when it is being used as a tool to attack my heart, and return using it as a weapon for his Kingdom. What Satan tries to use against us, let us grab hold of the sword and turn it back on him. We have been created in Gods image. Everyone. You are loved. You are precious. Don’t let lies, don’t let hate, don’t let comparison steal your Joy..

What the world needs now more than ever is more Joy.

For more about Olivia’s shop and blog visit http://posieandpine.com/

Photography by Sequel Photography