[Make your true love build you a bookshelf, that’s the main way.]
Well, there you are, you old lovely blog! How bout a dust off to see if we even know each other. Let’s see, I think it is Friday, which means we should do 7 Thoughts About Some Things. In this case, that thing is going to be Rachel Hollis, because what better way to spend your holiday than listening to Girl Wash Your Face and Girl Stop Apologizing. It was a dark time for me, and I feel I should divulge my journey of survival. Here are 7 Ways to Survive a Rachel Hollis binge.
Remind yourself that you don’t need a “Tribe.” This is the 21st century, after all, and there are lots more appropriate words like “Friends” and “Family” and “Community” and “Neighbors,” or even “People I love and serve but who I don’t necessarily have to accumulate as fans and followers on Social Media like little feathers in my special cap that makes me feel like a person because I really don’t have a very good sense of myself.” “Tribe” is so démodé, but after fifteen hours of Rachel Hollis you have to say “your truth” out loud just to feel sanity coming back into your consciousness.
Remind yourself that you’re an adult, of veritable middle life, who has successfully birthed and schooled a half dozen children, and kept the house basically together, and had friends (see above) and a life even, for the last two decades, and that you don’t have to live up to the life stylings of a woman a decade younger who has certainly endured the normal tribulations and sufferings of this mortal coil, and who is certainly a lot more motivated than you are, but who, on account of not being able to successfully articulate the Christian gospel in any 5 minute youtube clip or motivational moment, really doesn’t have any wisdom that will be useful for you. You’ve come this far not drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, preferring strong black tea, which, after all, has antioxidants, and is lots cheaper than therapy, so why start now.
Remind yourself that the goals and dreams of this world do not perfectly overlap with the virtues and riches of the Kingdom of Heaven. They don’t always conflict, certainly, and there is nothing particularly bad about wanting to have nice things, but if you’re looking for your heart’s dream, you should try first to remember the person who resides there. If that person is Jesus through the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit (and I hope he is), you will have to face the appalling truth that he (Jesus) is not very anxious about you getting a million dollars and growing your company size from 5 to 100. Rather, he is very very very desirous about you becoming holy, and not growing weary in doing good, and being equipped to spread the good news of the cross, and relieving the suffering of those around you, and praying for the needs of all people, and telling the truth, and being patient, and always bringing glory to God through affliction, repentance, and amendment of life. So sure, if the thing you long for so much is a thousand dollar Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag, that’s not immoral or anything, but actually I think you should covet a lot prettier bag, like this one, or this one.
Remind yourself that actually your size has nothing to do with it. You don’t need to worry about being too big or too small or taking up too much room or not enough room because actually, the person who should take up as much room as possible is Jesus (see above), who, as some random person said a long time ago, “must increase” while you “decrease.” This, of course, is very painful if you are always trying to make yourself bigger (we’ll come back to this when we get to fat-shaming in just a minute) and find yourself locked in battle with someone who knows you’ll only be truly happy and alive when you die to yourself and let him raise you from the dead and restore you into the image of himself. So really, you don’t need to take up a lot of your own emotional space worrying about all the people who are trying to put you down and ruin your happiness. God will be more than enough to contend with.
Remind yourself, as you stand in front of the fridge looking for a healthy snack over the back of that gorgeous Wegman’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake, that you don’t need to take advice from a person who can afford a nanny, a housekeeper, and eyelash extensions. Eat what you want to eat. Be on the diet you want to be on. Don’t feel pressured to take up Hiphop or run a marathon because you will absolutely not have a good time and life’s too short to copy other people’s strange exercise proclivities.
Remind yourself that repentance is necessary because sin isn’t nothing. Sin is very bad actually, and very injurious to yourself and to others, and it can’t be undone by a better diet, by more resolutions, by trying harder. In fact, it can never be undone by you because of its infinite grievousness. You cannot offend a perfect and holy God, trying to throw him out of his own creation, and expect to fix it with some upbeat music and a better list of your ten year goals. It can only be fixed by God himself who absorbs your offense, takes your just penalty into himself, and incorporates you into his very body. He is your hope, your salvation, the one who gives you every single thing you need.
Remind yourself that when you go to heaven it isn’t so you can meet the ideal potential version of yourself who will shame you for not measuring up in this life. Heaven is the place where you finally see with your own eyes the one who loved you enough not to show you the way, but to die in your place when you rebelled against him and disordered not only your own life, but that of the whole cosmos. Stop for a moment and survey all the things and people you love, all the goodness that you’ve been given, all the longing that’s never been fulfilled, all the truth and beauty that you’ve grasped, however fleetingly, and transfer your gaze to the one who holds that same cosmos in the palms of his hands. All those things are caught up in him. None of them are lost. But more than that, he is the person who can bear the weight of your whole attention—not you, Him.
Seriously, apologize to those you’ve offended, wash your face when you smear icing on it, and put yourself into the grasp of the God of the universe who doesn’t need a motivational speech to get him moving in the morning. And most of all, go check out more Takes!