Welcome to the party, 2018.  To some, you were ushered in with open arms.  To some, you came much too fast.  And to others, you were a scary thought that was completely inevitable.  Regardless of how you came into our lives, you are here.  You are ready.  You aren’t slowing down, and now it’s up to us to decide how to handle your stay with us for the next 365 days.

I had enormous goals lined up for 2018: goals of winning my first breakaway buckle, goals of starting a new ministry within my church, goals of expanding my pie repertoire, goals of becoming increasingly more disciplined with Bible studies, goals of training my cow pup to work cattle, goals and goals and goals (I’m a very driven person)!  All of these were whirling around in my head until about two weeks ago.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Instagram; I need it to run Salt Lick Sisters, but the attention focus has always seemed so backwards to me.  I would get frustrated when I saw girls who were doing the same thing as me, but better because they were putting on a face.  I would get angered when I knew someone was trying to be something that they aren’t, and getting hundreds more likes than I was, while I was trying to be genuinely true to myself.  I didn’t find it fair at all that my well thought out attempts at being inspirational would be upstaged by people showing off their cleavage.  I would almost get sucked into the fakeness, and then I would take a step back.  My perspective shifted when I asked myself why these girls were editing themselves significantly thinner, changing even their face shapes, and portraying themselves in a lifestyle that truly wasn’t theirs.  Why would someone be so dedicated to an image of who they aren’t?  Why would someone not want to be and accept the woman that God created her to be?  There are so many possible answers to those questions.  It must be exhausting keeping up with everything.  It must be painful to look in the mirror and not believe that the world will accept that.  It must be so difficult to walk into a job that you believe you have to cover up.

I cannot think of a single person that hasn’t experienced the I’m-not-enoughs.  But what is enough?  What would it take to make you feel pretty enough, exciting enough, interesting enough, or smart enough?  Especially in today’s time, where comparison can take on a terribly false idea of what is real, and what are the false things people want you to see.  We will never be enough if we are chasing worldly standards instead of God’s standards.  And guess what, you have already more than met His list of requirements to be enough of everything.

So in this New Year, I challenge myself and everyone that I come across to be authentic, to be completely and unashamedly you.  God created you the exact way that He wanted to, so nourish that person.  Grow and show off that creation, not the image of what you think the world wants you to be.  God isn’t going to bless what your idea of how you should be is.  He’s going to bless who He knows is best.  If you honor your image and build up your image, but never take care of God’s true creation, you can’t expect Him to bless that.  But if you love that wonderful life and body and mind that He gave to you, wrinkles, quirks, scars, funny laughs, dimples, weird talents, points, curves, freckles, and all, then He will bless you.

Show yourself the grace that God has, and toss aside the pressure to be someone He never intended you to be.  It takes time, trust me, but it is more than worth it.  The #authenticitymvmt is my goal for 2018.  I not only want to keep myself in check to be transparent, but also inspire other women to do the same.  God wants you to discover who you truly are, and He will be there holding your hand each step of the way.  In the end, we all need to support each other as well.  We should encourage authenticity from other women and celebrate their genuineness.  I can’t think of anything better than going around and throwing parties for all of the wonderful things that God, the ultimate Creator, has created.  And that is you.  It may seem scary, and it may take a few tries to get there, but I will be your cheerleader and encouragement.  Let’s take away the image and peel back all those layers of who we think we should be, and simply be ourselves.

Thank y’all so much for sharing a bit of your time with me today.  I hope this encourages you and I would love to see you being yourself and telling your stories!! Tag “#authenticitymvmt” in your incredible journeys so I can keep up with you, and God bless!

Xoxo, Meghan