Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Contentment Challenge 2011 (a.k.a. Blog Sugar)

This weekend, if you haven't heard, a big west coast blog event is going down. It is so big that some friends are crossing the Mississippi to get there. It's called Blog Sugar (see the pink button on the sidebar??). And I'm finding, for me, it's bringing up issues of contentment. Or lack thereof.

And I expect I'm not alone. I thought I'd just bring this stuff to the surface now, so we all have it sorted by this weekend, and then we can leave the insecure versions of ourselves at home. {Don't you love how I am churning up the junk most everyone else is happy to let lie? You're welcome.}

So my first Contentment Challenge is obvs. I want to buy something new to wear. Somehow, I decided in my head that I wanted something new that was green. I know, specific. And unnecessary.

But guess what. When I'm honestly assessing my closet, I have plenty of lovely things to wear. Blog Sugar is not the inaugural ball. I'm going California Casual. Which means skinny jeans, something girly and perhaps shiny on top, and it's still a toss up between boots and peep toe heels. Also that ensemble is subject to change. I may do some try-ons in my closet.

All that to say, this week, I observed and faced my discontentment with my wardrobe, and decided it left a bad taste in my mouth, akin to the taste I get when I see my kids grab the toy catalogs from the mailbox and fill them with pen circles around all the things they feel they need. Never a thought goes to the mountains of expensive and formerly special toys in their rooms. Yuck. I'm instantly trashing those catalogs this year come Christmas season.

I've also been getting the vibe that some of us are a bit nervous about Blog Sugar. I mean, I COULD spend time worrying about not knowing people, or I COULD spend time worrying about people not knowing ME. I could compare myself and my blog and my necklace to every woman I meet.

But what fun would that be? That would make the whole event miserable, don't you think? So what are we going to do to combat that comparison so likely to sneak into our fragile hearts next Sunday night?

This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to look each beautiful woman in the eye and see her. See her name, and her heart for blogging and sharing her life, and the care she put into her outfit. I'm going to appreciate the woman God made her to be, appreciate her story, and the way she is putting herself out there into the blog world. You know, it is a risky thing, this blogging, particularly in a world of women. It's even riskier to show up to something like Blog Sugar and act like you have it all together (when none of us really do, right?).

Sadly, I know we all know some women who are not that nice. They are envious and gossipy and feel the need all too often to put others down to feel better. God forbid any one of us is caught in those traps this weekend, right? I very much want to be a part of a community of women who bless and encourage one another, and I know the first step is making sure I'm that kind of woman myself.

Because all of us are risking ourselves here. All of us are a tad nervous about being seen. All of us are just doing our best. I'm deciding to do MY best at acknowledging that you are doing a pretty darn good job at all you do. I might even tell you that you look so beautiful. And I'll mean it.

I'm going to say sorry when I don't remember someone's name, and humbly announce that I'm bad at that. I'm going to be humble when I don't recognize someone who recognizes me. I will laugh at myself, and give myself grace when I realize I'm talking too much. And I'll accept myself for not having it all together. For not having enough time to switch to my cute purse, or say Hi to all the right people, or BLOG about Blog Sugar during Blog Sugar (you know some people will be!).

I'm just me, and that's it. Even though you may meet me, and like my outfit, and say, "Wow, your hair is a really unusual color!" don't be fooled. I'll still be broken, messy, me in the middle of my life's journey. And it will be great to meet you in the middle of yours.

And for those of you who aren't coming to Blog Sugar, good job today. Good job pulling the day together, and giving love away. I appreciate you and your heart, and even if I don't know your name, I know the God of heaven does. He sees you, and thinks you're simply beautiful too. Thanks for putting yourself out there into the risky world one more day. It needs you.



  1. I love you even more after this post...I have been freaking out because I dont have buisness cards...how stupid,,,maybe I will bring post its and give people those? hahahah NO REALLY! Hi my name is april...here is a yellow post it! Cant wait to give you a big hug!!!

  2. Girl. Listen up. I'm moving this week. I'm sick. I'm exhausted. My house is in disarray. I don't have a laptop. I don't have business cards. I Don't even have the energy to blog at the moment. I'm right there with you. What you see this weekend is what you get with me. ;) I like it better that way anyway. Looking forward to meeting you!

  3. i cant even spell business...hahahaha! Oh brother!

  4. yes, girl!
    looking forward to meeting YOU.

  5. this is so good leslie!
    i was on the fence about not going because of stuff like this. then i read heathers post yesterday - with tears streaming down my cheeks i knew i had to go! so i'm going. flying solo and not loving that idea. but i'm going!
    i'll find your beautiful red hair in the crows and give you a hug!

  6. wow, thanks for this, Leslie :) I love that you said this:
    "I very much want to be a part of a community of women who bless and encourage one another, and I know the first step is making sure I'm that kind of woman myself. "
    that is SO what this is all about :) thanks again!

  7. i wrote you a page-long comment last night [from my phone and it erased, ha!]... to say that i'm glad you put this out there. it's what we all don't want to admit we're feeling, right?

    except the clothes, for me. for some reason being pregnant i feel less pressure. i only have so much to choose from and everyone thinks you automatically look cute pregnant, don't they?!? ha! of the things i'm choosing between, two are green... don't be mad ;) you will look awesome and totally put together, whatever you wear. i keep thinking that 99% of the gals there have never seen ANY of our clothes, so why do we need something new? anything you wear will be new to everyone else, ya know?

  8. yup, you covered it all. 'Cept the business cards and April covered that above. I dont have them either. By the time I thought of it it was too late to order them.
    And with my new job Ive had very little energy to be blogging regularly like I wish I could be. Ive even lost 3 followers over the past 2 days. Not sure why.
    Ive struggled with thoughts of not being good enough but then remembered its not what others think of me that matters.
    Im doing what God has called me to do(teaching full time and keeping my family together) for this season and Im happy to be in His will.
    Im also super blessed by my close blog friends who've encouraged and befriended me even when I felt unlovable.
    PS My package arrived today. You rock. And no, I havent ever read that book. Ive always wanted to. Now I can!
    I love and appreciate you so much and cant wait to knock you down at the airport. Haha

  9. Have an amazing time at Blog Sugar! I am sure you will be beautiful in green {or whatever you choose to wear} Blessings prayed over your weekend!

  10. i love this post. don't worry you are fantastic just the way you are. i wish i was going to blog sugar.i'd love to meet YOU! how silly am i? i didn't by a ticket. boo!

  11. "I'll still be broken, messy, me in the middle of my life's journey. And it will be great to meet you in the middle of yours." DITTO!

    am i'm nervous about blog sugar? yeah, BUT the excitement i have to tangibly meet my sisters in Christ from the blogging community EXCEEDS my nervousness. they are each one His glory here in blogville, and like you i just want to SEE them, Him in them, tangibly. oh! it's going to be so good!