A New Direction

Monday, February 20, 2017 0 No tags

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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 0 No tags

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.

Dear Tortured, Creative Soul: be stylish, be free

Thursday, February 18, 2016 0 No tags

Dear Tortured, Creative Soul: here's why you want to be stylish.

Photo of Stacy London for Into the Gloss.

Dear Tortured Creative Soul,

I used to be obsessed with the TLC show, What Not To Wear. I would still be obsessed if it weren’t currently off the air. But that’s a sad story for another day.

On that show, women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, were nominated by their goodhearted, better-dressed friends to be made over by the capable non-couple, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

One of the big life-lessons I learned from that show growing up was that it seemed there was a well-established trend among moms that their kids came before their appearance.

That was a common confession when Stacy probed them in her best-friend-but-also-a-shrink kind of way, as to how they had gotten into the habit of calling a shower the extent of their personal care routine.

“I’m just so busy taking care of my daughter. She comes first.” 

It should have been the theme song. And Stacy’s answer was always the same. She would hug that mom, look into her weepy, tired eyes, and say authoritatively:

Continue Reading…

A New Direction: my year-long creative challenge

Monday, November 16, 2015 0 No tags

Jeneric Generation is taking things in a new direction for the next 12 months. I hope you will follow along on my kind of crazy style experiment!

Before I tell you what’s changing around here, I thought you might like to guess.

The following is a summary of the thought processes I have gone through in the past several months to get to my decision, which will serve as hints.

Please note that when these thoughts were going through my head, I didn’t see them as hints of what was to come. I saw them as mere moments of frustration all the way up until my light bulb- moment. Did I learn a very important lesson about the purpose of frustration in all of this? Why, yes. Yes I did.

Here are the seemingly unrelated thoughts that led to a concrete conclusion. See if you are smarter than me and can connect the dots:

  • After having a baby, I got tired of wearing ugly t-shirts and yoga pants really quickly. I wanted nothing more than to have my old wardrobe fit again.
  • I knew my body would change after having a baby, but I wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. If my body wasn’t going to return to pre-baby state, so be it. But it just performed an amazing feat, and I’d like to reward it for its efforts by taking really good care of it.
  • Taking good care of myself with the goal of being a better mom for Violet reminded me that my appearance plays a big part in how I feel about myself. And that means more than brushing my teeth and wearing workout clothes all day (and not always engaging in physical exercise).
  • We are a one-income family. I am so thankful I get to stay home with Violet, but it means we make lots of sacrifices. In practical terms: we have a tight budget to stick to.
  • In this season of tight-budgeting, I have tried a time or two to make myself believe that I really don’t care about what I wear, or at least, it’s not a big part of who I am. But that’s not true. I have always loved fashion, and while there is always something else to put our money toward, wearing clothes is a big part of life. They might as well not be ugly.
  • I love writing about style, but I don’t want to be a fashion blogger. I follow several fashion blogs, but the thought of becoming one myself sends me into a panic. Kind of like how I feel while shopping…
  • Shopping, and the world in general, makes us feel like I shouldn’t be content with what I have. And I hate that feeling.
  • I hate the battle inside me that wants things, but also wants to feel content all the time.
  • I believe that limitless options are limiting.
  • I have loved curating a capsule wardrobe over the past few years.
  • I have learned a whole lot about being content with less stuff in the past few years.
  • I hate feeling constricted. I hate feeling like a victim of my circumstances.
  • I believe in the importance of creativity in everyday life–even more so now that I have become a mom.
  • I want to keep writing Jeneric Generation, but I don’t want to feel like I have to write about being a mom all the time, or that I have to make my life as a stay-at-home-mom sound more interesting than it is.
  • I want my real life and my blog to work together seamlessly and effortlessly.
  • I want more creativity in my life, and not just in the form of writing!
  • After four years of blogging here on JG, I’m in the mood to switch things up. I am up for a new challenge because I want to see what it will teach me.
  • I am ready for a change.

So here’s my plan:

Continue Reading…