A New Direction

Dear Friends,

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m narrowing my focus on Jeneric Generation.

I’m taking my time with the changes, because it is important to me that I don’t waste your time.

I have a very clear vision for where I want this space to go, and that vision is going to take a few months.

In the meantime, I wanted to give you my new blog “thesis” and invite you to join my email list so you can be notified when I’m back to regular posting (you can do that HERE).

I really don’t like being vague if it can be avoided, but when things are back in full swing, it will all make sense!

Thank you so much for your patience.

For now, here is this sneak peek of things to come:

Do you struggle at all with your creative desires? Is creativity sometimes a wonderful outlet for you, but other times a source of frustration? Read the words below. If they resonate with you, you’ve come to the right place.

“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” -Eric Liddell

Think about this: God, as the fount of all creativity, created humans to be creative.

And after creating us, and every other part of the world we live in, God rested.

No one understands more than God that our human creativity is exhausting and frustrating, but also pure joy, and an actual necessity in our lives.

And yet, labeling ourselves as artists, or simply “creatives”, is uncomfortable. We feel like it gives us too much credit, or implies that we have a portfolio of work on standby.

But we long for that title, just the same.

The disconnect lies in the fact that the world tells us that we are the source of our own creativity – that it starts within us, that we just need to keep peeling back the layers until everyone takes notice.

Until everyone says, “Ah! Now there is someone who deserves the spotlight”.

Until it points right back to us.

And in that sense, who is brave enough to call himself a creative? To do so would be to suggest that we are our own precious fossils, and we just need to be unearthed.

It is true that we cannot tell our story until we know who we are.

But how can we know who we are apart from knowing the one who created us?

We try to do it, and no wonder we are exhausted. The belief that we are our own creative source is rampant, and yet horrifyingly impossible. And most importantly, it is wrong.

Our relief comes in knowing that not only is God a never-ending wellspring of creativity, He is our resting place.

And thankfully we need not grow weary while we refuse to believe that so much falls upon our shoulders.

This belief that the world tells us at every turn: it is our burden to prove something. To show the world. To justify.

But do you know what? It is finished. Christ rose from the dead. He accomplished everything.

Praise God, there is nothing to prove, there is only to wait.

To wait, and to share, and to proclaim: that God is who he says he is.

As a lifelong creative and a Christian I have struggled most of my life trying to figure out what I am “supposed to do” – what I am supposed to create. It has taken me well into my adult life to finally come to a place of contentment in my creative pursuits.

And by contentment, I mean being at peace in the place that I am, knowing that His work in me is not yet finished.

A few minutes on social media might motivate us to be more disciplined in our art or hobby, to be more diligent in keeping a routine, or to post beautiful photos more consistently.

And there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with any of that.

But what we really want is to feel centered. We want to feel anchored. We want to feel we can safely revolve around something that keeps us from going off course.

That center is Christ.

For some, creativity may be a thriving business. For others, it might just be the habit of daily creating. And yet for some, it might simply be getting through a difficult day.

This blog is for creatives (of all definitions and degrees) wanting to feel anchored in their passions.

It’s for women who love God, and want their creative pursuits to point to Him, yet feel they don’t always know what that means, or looks like.

It’s for women who want to be braver in sharing what they create, without losing sight of the important things.

And if we believe that only by knowing God do we come to know ourselves, then our confidence will grow as our identities grow in Him.

It’s that lens, that clarity, that we long to call our own, that’s ours for the taking.

And it’s that peace that will steady our wandering hearts, and remind us that we create only because of our Creator, and that our creating must have Christ at its center, or it’s not creating at all — it’s just a sick kind of plagiarism.

To go about creating in any other way would be to enter a navel-gazing state of existence – a spiraling inward, chin tucked to chest, that ends in an exhausted heap on the ground, which has been the fate of many a war-torn artist before us. But it does not have to be ours.

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S. Lewis

This blog is about refusing to settle for the mediocre in our creative pursuits. And now that we have glimpsed a holiday at the sea, let us leave the world of mud pies behind us, and never look back.

Hello, again.

Dear friends,

I know you haven’t been sitting at your computer, refreshing my blog’s url every five minutes, waiting to hear the next saga of my fashion journey, over these past ten months.

But I just want you to know that I think about you a lot.

And I haven’t forgotten that there might be a handful of you out there who are slightly curious as to what happened after a harrowing year of only shopping for clothes second-hand.

Maybe half a handful.

But that doesn’t matter.

Here’s the truth, in short:

I stopped suddenly because I felt stuck.

I was having a few “aha” moments in the way I shopped and dressed myself, but it was still so fuzzy in my mind, I never felt motivation to stop and tell you just how confused I was.

After all, we were just talking about style. How complicated can it really be?

You have no idea.

But because I don’t believe in writing when the windshield is covered with ice, I have waited.

And waited.

I’ve also been frustrated.

I’ve prayed.

And been frustrated again.

And I’ve waited some more.

Until finally, the points of my scattered thoughts started to connect. And after staring at them long enough, they started to look something like little constellations of ideas.

And I grew hopeful.

The point is: the windshield is not frozen over, but it is still smudged with melting ice.

The good news is: grabbing a squeegee is the easy part.

I have clarity about the direction of my blog, and it absolutely includes a style update.

But after that, I want to give you something more.

If you can wait a little bit longer, I would love to have you back.

I’m currently writing, organizing, tweaking, and editing, editing, editing.

I can’t promise your socks will be knocked off or anything, but I do hope this new phase of things will be entertaining to you at the least, and helpful to you at the very most.

Until then,

Jenny

P.S. Until then, follow me on instagram @jennylizdub. Or on facebook, where I will share when things are up and running again.

When Thrifting Works: and a pep talk on creativity

Have you joined my Newsletter list yet? Click here, or sign up in the sidebar. I’ll email you when I publish a new post, with a few extra thoughts. My email list is where I get super vulnerable, and share all of my darkest secrets. Not really. But I’m definitely friendly and not spammy.

My 12-month style challenge: everything secondhand

Fact: Thrifting is not fun until suddenly it is.

The magic happens when you find that first piece of clothing that makes your heart beat a little faster, and causes you to break out into a slight sweat until you have examined the piece and concluded confidently that there are no tears, snags, rips, holes, stains, or pilling. And in that moment, you feel like you can do anything.

Or at least, you feel like thrifting a capsule wardrobe for a year is something you don’t have to fail at.

This color block sweater was one of the first items I found, and I love its boxy cut and fitted short sleeves (you’ll have to trust me on that). A few weeks later, I found this tweed jacket (it’s tweed + a jacket so you know I love it).

When two thrifted items come together in one outfit and work so harmoniously, I might as well be wearing a solved algebra problem, for all the satisfaction it brings me.

My 12-month style challenge: everything secondhand

Outfit details: Color block sweater: thrifted/$4, Tweed jacket: thrifted/$2, Black corduroy pants: AG/old, Black boots: thrifted/$9, crossover bag: Modcloth/old

The past few weeks I have been super busy, trying to finalize my second product line for my paper shop, and just catching up on things that were being neglected (not that I ever let laundry pile up or anything…).

Creative outlets are necessary to my health and well-being, and sometimes I wonder if I really need a blog and an Etsy shop to satisfy that need.

But then I realize that is just the practical, reasonable side of my brain speaking.

The truth is, my wardrobe is a solid foundation for my other creative pursuits, and while it is not necessary to blog about my style challenge in order to benefit from it, writing about it and connecting with readers keeps me accountable, and forces me to think about my clothing habits a lot more.

And my clothing habits are only proving my theory that getting dressed in clothes you love, gives you a daily advantage.

I am pretty real sure that my Etsy shop wouldn’t progress if I lived in pajamas and oversized t-shirts. And I’m pretty sure I would’t love working on it as much as I do if I didn’t feel so creatively fulfilled in other areas of my life.

So how’s that for a creativity endorsement? It’s Monday. And you can make this week as creative as you choose. Whether that means not eating the same thing you always eat for breakfast, finding a solution to a small problem, finding a way to enjoy the mundane chores on your to-do list, writing down your thoughts on being a mom, sending a letter to a friend, or finding a new work out.

BE CREATIVE TODAY. It’s for your own good.

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My Capsule Wardrobe Problem (and a vintage wool blazer)

First things first: Sign up for the JenEric Generation Newsletter in the sidebar! I only email you when I have something important to share with you, like when there’s a new post.

12-month style challenge: Thrifting my way to a perfect capsule wardrobe

A few weeks ago I made my clothing rack dreams come true. And now I have a problem. But first:

If you can’t relate to dreaming about owning a clothing rack, let me try to help you understand: a clothing rack makes your clothes look like they live in a magical boutique where everything for sale fits you–and your style–perfectly.

When your clothes are visible, and hanging harmoniously on one modestly sized garment rack, it’s hard to be overwhelmed in the morning.

Most days, I feel like a paperdoll choosing the appropriate outfit for the day. Tea party? Birthday bash? First day of school? Check, check, check. (Just change “tea party”, “birthday bash” and “first day of school” to: church, mom’s group, and working from home.)

And for some inexplicable reason, seeing your clothes outside of your closet is an eye-opening experience (speaking as my three-dimensional self).

When I transferred my clothing from my closet to my mini external closet, I was unable to overlook a fact that I have known deep down inside, but never openly admitted… Continue reading “My Capsule Wardrobe Problem (and a vintage wool blazer)”