Overcoming 12 Months of Insecurity

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

how to wear layers for fall via Kristina J blog
LOFT cardi | Boden Wow skirt and Breton top | Claire's headwrap
 Target watch | Eat Cake for Breakfast Graphic Tote (tutorial)

how to add layers to summer clothes for fall via Kristina J blog

So I haven’t blogged in a while. In fact, I've been afraid of blogging for about a year now. It seemed too false, too unreal, to post pictures of myself smiling when I've been in the middle of such an internal battle. You see that girl over there…the one hiding from people and avoiding conversation? Yup, that’s me.We all have our unique shape of fear and mine has been plaguing me in the big, fat form of INSECURITY.  The critic in my head speaks loudly, causing me to worry that my art is a waste of time…letting me believe that I really do have something valuable to offer but insisting that someone else can do it better.  Her question whispers those six foul words into my heart: Who do you think you are? 

Have you ever noticed how the ghost of INSECURITY seems to make so much sense? She knows everything. INSECURITY knows why I’m an idiot. She knows why my art doesn't matter, why my skill-set isn't useful.  INSECURITY can recite all the ways my ideas are recycled and my designs are un-wearable and why people think my outfits are ridiculous. She writes a song about my inadequacy and failure and weaves the sticky, little melody all around my heart. And I believe her. I stop writing. Stop the sewing. Stop the designing. Stop blogging. Stop creating. I believe her and everything just…stops. I lose sight of my truth.

I've known since I was nineteen that I wanted to open an online boutique of pretty skirts and dresses. Launching the KRISTINA J. blog while my children were babies at home was a strategic step towards that goal…creating a place where I could experiment with styles, designs and product shoots while getting feedback for what women were really looking for in their clothes.  And then came the day when all three kiddos were attending school and I was finally going to have enough time to launch a clothing line and what did I do? I freaked out, that’s what. I ran. I became desperately afraid of my inadequacy ruining my dreams instead of embracing the beauty of what I might create in the process. 

INSECURITY made a list of my shortcomings and convinced me that the eyes of a huge audience were trained in my direction, waiting for me to make a fool of myself. Focusing on the whispers of INSECURITY turned my hope-filled dream into something that was too serious and cumbersome to carry. Pursuing THE DREAM became such a big deal that instead of pursing God, I sank into self-effort and expectation.  While I should have spent this year being an image bearer with a job to do, I've become a job doer with an image to maintain.

Here’s the discovery it’s taken me an entire year to figure out. I can try to believe in myself and sink into procrastination and worry that my art is not enough…that I have nothing to offer. Or I can sink hard into God.  I choose that last one.

Though I’m not sure anyone even reads this blog anymore, I’m publicly confessing that INSECURITY took me down, but this is me, getting back up, brushing off my knees after the fall and deciding to make art even as I wait for courage.  Yes, someone else can write better, blog better, love better, design better, and sew better. Other people can construct clothes better, but that doesn't mean I can’t design and construct as well. 

Of course, even with this confession INSECURITY continues to vomit: Who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am?
I am a God-redeemed young woman made in the image of Creator God and given a specific set of skills by his creative design. I am a poem…his artwork.  No more waiting for qualifications, permissions or self-approval.
My hands are filled with dreams and desires and all I can do is respond to God where I am as I am with what I've got.  
I've got sewing machine and the skill to use it.
I've got a point-of-view and a platform from which to display it.
And I have a dream to delight others with what I have to offer.
I am an image bearer and I have a job to do.
That’s my truth. 

how to add layers to summer outfits for fall via Kristina J blog


63 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you've been feeling this way :( I'm a long time reader, obviously, and love your posts! Please keep blogging!! :)

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  2. Appreciate you and your blog! I, too, am a long time reader and have always appreciated your articulate writing and fun, artsy, and talented clothing pieces. :) Stay encouraged!

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  3. Praying for you! I am a long time reader as well!! You are an amazing inspiration to so so many women! Including my self! So glad to see you back and blogging again! Always will have my support and prayers!

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  4. I love this beautifully convicting thought: "While I should have spent this year being an image bearer with a job to do, I've become a job doer with an image to maintain." That speaks to my heart.
    It was good to see you at True Woman and great to see you blogging again!

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    1. Oh, no! I missed seeing you! Sorry we couldn't talk!

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  5. Oh my goodness! I think you are SO TALENTED!!!! I hope you can banish that inner critic for one that sees how far you have come and just allows you to create for fun! You are really good at what you do! You have such an eye for style. And I bought your book and I love it! I copy you!

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    1. Oh, my! You are so sweet, Sara! Thank you. Glad you liked the book!

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  6. and P.S.- I'm glad you see your individual worth as a child of God! God doesn't make mistakes, and you are glorious just the way you are :)

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  7. I always love when I see you've updated your blog! I hope you're back with enthusiasm to share your awesomeness with us all! :)

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  8. I am also a long time reader and strongly want to echo the comments above. Those negative whispers from the critic within are definitely to be ignored. I too hope you keep blogging!
    Nancy




















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  9. I know that INSECURITY and God does make it a strength because we learn to lean hard on HIM! But I have a sneaky feeling that you wouldn't be hearing that voice if you really had nothing to offer! Can't wait to see what God uses you to create!!

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  10. Hey Kristina!

    I'm glad you are blogging again!

    Love your fun outfits and ideas :)

    Hope you have lots of wonderful creative, crafty days ahead :0) ♥

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  11. Thank you for your bravery, by honestly sharing your vulnerabilities you give others the courage to do the same. I'm so glad you're back on the blog, I find you very inspiring. In fact this post is making my realize I need to go publish a post I wrote months ago but have been avoiding ever since. Ugh, thank you, here I go...
    http://inandyland.blogspot.com

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    1. I love that we can help each other by being real!

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  12. Bless you, Kristina! I love your style and your voice. Keep pursuing your dream!

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  13. I love you just the way God designed you!

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  14. I love to read blogs, but I rarely ever comment on them. I just felt that I needed to tell you that I check your blog every day in hopes of finding a new post--and when there is a new one I can't wait to see what you have to say and share with us. You are so talented! I absolutely love your style and ideas. Thank you for having the courage to put yourself out there and share your special gifts and talents with others! Just so you know, we DO read this blog, we love your style and personality and we are excited to come along with you on your journey as you fulfill your dreams!
    Jem

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    1. Thanks Jem.. You're such an encouragement!

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  15. Firstly I have to say how absolutely beautiful you look in this outfit. Everything about it is Perfection! How brave you are to have written this post, and thank you for sharing with us. You know, all creative people have times of insecurity and sometimes it is overwhelming. I am so happy you have found help in God (I have done the same), and remember you can find help all around you too. I have loved your blog since I first found it, and every time a post appears, I read it first. Your outfits are so unique, and I love that you love red too. As I struggle to present myself stylishly, despite the ravages of surgery and age, it brings a smile just to see your sweet photos. All the best Katrina, hugs, Patricia. xx
    PS My daughter shares your name :)

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    1. Love that you shared this, Patricia! Thanks so much!

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  16. Love this! I read your blog from afar and just marvel at your creativity. Outwardly---beautiful. Now your inner most vulnerable feelings out there--- true beauty. Real and honest. I so love this. I am a insecure woman and with low risk taking moves and this has helped me to take another look at me, and try to be honest with me..... Not easy but not out of reach either. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. You're back!!!! I have missed your posts so much. You are amazing and inspiring and I appreciate all the fashion ideas and the personal thoughts you share. I am happy to know that you are feeling good now. I LOVE your work!

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  18. I started reading your blog awhile ago for the refashions and I also love your sense on style. It's easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and think you aren't good enough. I do that too with my blog but ultimately I try to just stay true to myself. Glad you are getting over your insecurity and can share it with all of us :)

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  19. I've loved reading your blog since I found it the other year. Your taste and style are balanced and very attractive, and I always enjoy your outfit ideas and projects. You are clearly gifted, and I love that you direct glory to our Savior. God bless you as you continue your efforts.

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  20. I knew you'd come back. I've been waiting for you :) I'm eager to be inspired by your quips and wisdom, and grateful for your example of endurance even in the face of opposition. I, too, have been living a little "safe" lately, ignoring my talents and hiding from risks. You've encouraged me to get back out on my stage and take those worthwhile risks once more. Thank you!

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    1. That's so awesome to hear, Kelsi! Thank you

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  21. Oh Christina - STOP!! Tell Ms. Insecurity (cuz you know she's too cool to actually embrace Miss & too set in her ways to ever be a Mrs.!) to take a hike! YOU do beautiful work. Not that what I think even matters, but it's so true. I started reading your blog over a year ago b/c I loved your clothes and your style and you have such a grace about you - it's so clear to everyone else - you need to see it too!! You have worth beyond what you do for the outside world. You have worth to God and to your family and friends......and even to total strangers who think you are the silliest girl in the world for doubting your God-given talents. : ) I love, love, love your designs. They're pretty, stylish, relevant and just plain cool. You have an eye for prints and your sewing skills are Amazing with a capital A. Please, please keep on designing and sewing and blogging it all to share with us. I look forward to so much more from you.....so glad you got your head on straight and told Ms. Insecurity to go away! Hope she stays gone for good! : )

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    1. Thanks, mah dear! I appreciate your encouragement! I hope Miss stays gone too

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  22. Oh my, I just realized that I spelled your name wrong! That is not even funny cuz I DO read your blog every time you post so how could I get that wrong?! Sheesh, guess I need more coffee today. : /

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  23. Kristina ~ You're beautiful and talented. I love you're blog. I love your style. ...and I am SOOOOOO jealous of your hair!!!! You've got it all! Keep blogging and styling and sewing! Love it!

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  24. I'm 22 and you have inspired me to learn how to sew! Please don't quit! The only thing I've always wondered about is, even though you post frequently and lots of people comment, sometimes people comment asking questions and you never reply. Just something I've always wondered, like maybe you don't have much time to devote to that kind of stuff? Keep up the good work!

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    1. You're totally on it, Elizabeth. I barely get around to posting things, and have a very hard time keeping up with the follow up of blogging, like the comments. I'm trying to carve time into my schedule to address that. :)

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  25. Hello!! I just signed up recently for your blog and was impressed with your recreating the wedding dress this summer. I too sew and helped a friend make her wedding gown modest and mine too! I look forward to seeing your ideas!! :-)

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  26. Hi Kristina,
    I m a long time reader as well-I too think your blog is wonderful-very refreshing. I love your use of color-it has inspired me to be more colorful!
    And I think you are brave to embrace your calling and stick with it.
    Don t let the beast conquer you-remember to put on your suit of armor each and every day and go battle.

    greetings from Germany, Eva

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  27. Beautifully written by a very talented and respected woman.

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  28. I do not even know you, but one look at your blog and I can tell you are a very
    beautiful and talented woman. May God bless you.

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  29. You are a beautiful and very talent women.Don't let insecurity tell you anything else.

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  30. Isn't it terrible how the insecure voice sounds so much more realistic and rational, and we relegate the positive, glowing force of self-confidence to moments of madness, a sort of bipolar or romantic fancy. Well, I am inspired by your romantic fancy, and awed by the fantastic projects you create. Welcome back and keep listening to the right voice!

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    1. Isn't is so terrible? Thanks for the encouragement

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  31. As an aspiring writer, I understand this struggle very well. I agree that all we can do is be faithful with our gifts and let God be the judge, and do with them what He will.

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate you reaching out.

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  32. HI, I have been reading your blog ever since I found it about a year ago on pintrest!!! You are sooo inspirational to me. I love how you can take pieces that are not modest and completely fix them in ways that do not look like an add on. Matter of fact I find myself often picking up articles of clothing that and pondering "what would Kristina J do with this?" Please keep up the wonderful gift that you have been given!!!!!
    Thank you for the inspiration that you have been in my life!!
    P.S. I also have bought your book, and love it!!!
    A reader from Canada

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing with me! I'm honored that you read!

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  33. Kristina- I will chime in to add that I also check your blog constantly for updates. I missed you and figured you were busy starting a clothing line! Sharing your creativity is so personal, and I really appreciate your openness in sharing that with us, as well as giving us little glimpses of your life. You have made an impact on me! I have thought about you and your family and have prayed for you (I bought your Nathaniel book), and I will continue to do so. Something that has been a blessing to me recently is this phrase from a verse in James "... but He gives more grace." In whatever, for whoever, and whenever, He has more than enough grace, and He keeps giving it. We have an amazing Savior, and I am so glad you are looking at his light and letting it drive away the shadow of insecurity. That encourages me to also keep focused on Him!
    -Susie

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    1. Your confidence in me is encouraging. Thanks for the verse! I love it!

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  34. My favorite people are the people brave enough to be real. And my favorite clothes are yours. :) I still read your blog, still enjoy what you write, and still gain inspiration from your beautifully crafted clothes. Let us run, with courage, the race that is set before us. So as we say in the running world...You & Jesus got this! *hugs*

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  35. Yay, Kristina! So glad you're back! I am also my own worst critic and as a perfectionist, I tend to be extrememly hard on myself and disgusted by my mistakes. Like you, I am an artist. You design clothes, I design visual art. Like you, I like what I do too much to give up and guess what? I just sold one of my paintings! Let's just keep our eyes on our Creator and be the creative women He meant us to be! :) Love ya, Devan

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  36. Love the style and idea!

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/AspieHome

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  37. Thank you for sharing! I love your blog, style, designs, and voice. God has already been using you and will continue. I feel the same way, often. I'm not the best... but I will keep doing what God has put in my heart and given me a burden for (modest fashion, natural beauty and organic wellness). Much love to you! Really appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your heart. ♡Carmilla FaShih

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