A GLAM Girl's Guide To Life

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m one of those people who dreams BIG. When I have a plan for the future it’s usually a BIG plan, and when I start working towards the idea of something I’m usually working toward the BIG picture. There is just one BIG problem with that. It usually ends up being one BIG mess!

Over the past 8 years, I’ve been living and working with the vision of G.L.A.M. I’ve come to realize that the progress we’ve made has all come through taking baby steps. It’s not about conquering and creating the biggest and best right off the bat, it’s about building from God’s blueprint and working on His schedule. I know for a fact that in some cases, those plans lead to something HUGE from the beginning, but in my case — or G.L.A.M.’s, I should say — He’s chosen a much more relaxed pace.

I can’t tell you that I don’t get anxious sometimes. Of course I want to see these dreams become reality and the sooner the better! But if there is anything I have learned by watching this organization grow, it’s that things need time to do just that… GROW!

Dreams are a lot like the people who have them. Some are going to be prepared and ready the second inspiration strikes. Others, like me, will need time to work through a vision and to learn the skills necessary to really fulfill the calling. I think there are a million different lessons that can be learned through either process, and each one is important to the end goal. I can’t even begin to share all of the ways the original vision of G.L.A.M. has morphed over the years. As I learn new things about myself, God, and what girls around the world need, so does our plan of action. It grows and changes. It needs pruning, weeding, watering and feeding. Mostly, it just needs to be nurtured and loved.God gave me this calling. It’s unique to me. God has a calling for your life, too. Maybe you already know what you’re supposed to be doing, maybe you’re searching for it, and maybe you and your vision are still in the “growing” stages. But wherever you are, know that God’s timing is perfect. Trust Him. Follow His blueprints for your life, and no matter how long it takes, we can rest assured that the end product is going to be PERFECT.

Philippians 1:6 — being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Speaking as someone who has dealt with their fair share of heartache through the years, I have to wonder, when does a heart become unbroken? There does come a time when wounds don’t sting as much, and the aching feeling only aches when you think about it, but when do we consider ourselves healed? Are we ever really “back to normal” after we experience a heartbreak?

Lately, I’ve had a lot of friends experiencing loss and heartbreak. I sympathize in a way I wish I couldn’t. It’s funny how someone else’s hurt can remind you so much of your own. It’s in those instances that I have to admit I’m still hurting too. Certainly, it’s not as bad as it was when it was fresh, but I have my moments where the pain is just as real as it was on the first day. And it’s those very instances that make me want to be a cushion or a band-aid for those who are just beginning to experience the pain. I know it doesn’t REALLY make anything feel better, but there is a comfort in knowing that other people understand or at least sypathize with what you’re going through. It also provides me comfort from my own hurt to know — although I wouldn’t wish these things on anyone — I’m not alone.

I know I feel like I say this in every blog, but God has a plan for you that is 100% unique. He promises that if we follow Him that we will be blessed. What He doesn’t say, however, is that we’ll never lose, hurt, break, fall, or fail. In fact, following His plan can sometimes mean even more of these things. It seems like when we are doing the right things and really reaching for Gods plan for our life, we are attacked. But I’m telling you it’s worth it. The blessings out weigh every bump, bruise, scar, and scab I have on this body or my heart. I’ve never felt more taken care of or loved than when my heart last broke. My family and friends were there to love on me, comfort me, and sympathize with me.  Why did I feel that way? Because THAT is what becomes of the brokenhearted…

When our hearts have been broken, in any sense of the word, they NEVER really heal. There is always a piece of them that remains open to whatever it was that caused them to break. From that point on, we are drawn like a moth to the flame tocare for and love on those around us who are experiencing something similar. We want, maybe even NEED to bless those people, because we ourselves feel their pain. I would like to say this pouring out of blessings and love is completely selfless, but the thruth is it’s not. When we take the time to bless others, we get to be a part of God’s work, and that itself is another blessing.

So this week, as you go about your “normal” routine, take time and listen to your heart and the people around you. People are hurting. They need people like us to be the blessing that helps them heal. Try to take the time to be a listening ear, a helping hand, a dry shoulder… whatever you can be for them. I don’t think they’ll be the only one that leaves feeling blessed.

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Does anyone else get the Anthropologie emails!? Can we just talk about TORTURE?? Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Anthro. In fact it’s probably my favorite store. But it’s certainly one of those special occasion, splurge unless it’s “really on sale” kind of stops. And since I’ve been pregnant for the past 5 months now, I have had to accept the reality that I won’t be scoring any new frilly duds from my beloved shop for a while. Which brings me back to TORTURE. Everyday I’m getting at least one email in my inbox showing me all of the glorious things I do not have, and (even if I did) I cannot wear. Today was the icing on the cake. After opening said email, I proceeded to take in all of the goodies in the new arrivals section of the website. BAD IDEA, AMANDA! It was there I met this glorious piece.

Fast-forward an hour plus two serious temper tantrums later… I have decided to cut myself off. Not just from Anthropologie emails, but also from wasting my time lusting and coveting after things I can’t and shouldn’t have. What it comes down to is I want what I can’t have. The grass is always greener, right?

This issue comes up in all areas of my life, not just my closet. It seems like the more I see, the more I want. I don’t need anything. I am beyond blessed when it comes to a beautiful home, and fantastic car, pretty clothes, cuddly pets, a handsome husband… you name it, I have all I need. But then I see what someone else has or sells and suddenly mine isn’t good enough anymore.

Well, today I’m putting my foot down. I don’t want to play this game any longer. I’m unsubscribing, not just from the email list, but from the idea that what I have isn’t enough. I want to learn to love and appreciate what I have.

So how do I do that? I wish I knew. Other than putting my “pretty things” blinders on, I’m winging this one. But I’m going to try. God has blessed me SO abundantly, and I am so thankful. I think it’s time I started showing it. So here’s to the start of a new series… mostly for accountability (and entertainment) sake. Stay tuned. I think the next few weeks are going to get interesting!

What is inspiring today? Well, for me it’s not the pile of work on my desk, although, the deadline for it is fast approaching. Instead it’s the new opportunity to do something creative and fun, it’s staring me in the face as I type. It’s really taking a lot of restraint not to jump the gun and just dive in. I love it when I get to be creative and try something new! Especially when it’s a challenge, like this opportunity just happens to be….

WAIT! AMANDA, YOU MUST YOU MUST DO YOUR WORK, only THEN you can doodle away and work on the FUN stuff. That’s right! I said doodle! Because, I have my first shot at a REAL illustration gig!! You may not know me well enough yet to know that I am an artist in my non-existent free time, but I am. I paint, draw, sculpt, illustrate… you name it, I’ll at least try it! I even did mosaic once. You can see it in Aaron Shust’s music video “To God Alone”. Now that you understand the artsy side of me, you can probably see why I am chomping at the bit to get started.

There is just something about working with my hands and making something appear that didn’t exist before that I find so inspiring and relaxing. It’s not work for me. It’s almost therapy! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing too, and it seems that’s primarily what I do for a living now, but it takes a lot out of me. Creating visual art seems to happen naturally for me, I can communicate my purpose clearly without saying a word.

It’s through my love of creating things that I think I have finally begun to grasp the depth of God’s perfect love and will for His people. When I think about pieces of art that I have worked endless hours drawing, molding, pushing and pulling… in the end, I’m proud. I stand back and think, “Wow, that is even better than I thought it would be.” I appreciate it, even with its flaws, because I understand what it took to create it. I can’t help but think that’s how God must look at us sometimes. We’re imperfectly perfect. We’re a symbol of countless thoughts, calculations, modifications, and gallons of blood, sweat, and tears. We are His work of art. I like to think when He stands back and takes a look at us that He thinks, “Wow, they are as wonderful as I thought they would be.”

And it’s nice to think of myself as a work of art sometimes. Being a woman I know it’s pretty normal not to view myself that way. We’re so critical about how we look, talk, and act. But isn’t it nice to take a look in the mirror and remember that God took the time to think us up? From the number of hairs on your head, freckles on your nose, and toes on your feet, everything about your body, personality, and life was designed especially for you. When He looks at us He sees a masterpiece, and I think it’s okay for us to look at ourselves that way every once in a while too.