Lately I’ve noticed how desensitized I’ve become to things I never would have been comfortable with, things that go completely against what I say I stand for.
In December, I was cruising around town with my Dad while I was home for Christmas. The top was down (because yes, he’s a convertible kinda dude!) and our family was jamming to my latest iTunes purchases when the popular Meghan Trainor song, “All About that Bass,” came on. Without hesitation, I sang every note, fist bumped and danced without a care in the world while the wind blew through my hair.
About halfway into the second verse, my Dad pulled into a gas station. As he hopped out of the car, he said something that made a lasting mark on my heart: “Emily, I’m surprised you like this…this sounds like it goes against everything you say you stand for.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. He was so, so right. I had engaged with something fun and seemingly harmless without even hearing what I was saying, what I was belting at the top of my lungs, what I was promoting.
The purpose of this post isn’t to bash pop culture. It’s a reminder to my heart to protect and fill my mind with what my lips preach that I stand for.
I encourage women to be confident in who they are.
I affirm women in their natural beauty.
I partner with women to become who God made them to be.
I pray for a strong, warrior stance—to be a positive force to be reckoned with.
I fight for healing and grace and combat the lies of shame.
I scream, You. Are. Enough.
My car jam session didn’t quite line up with what my heart beats for. And that wrecked me. I honestly can’t even listen to that song in the same light anymore. And it’s not the catchy lyrics that I’m even broken over. It’s the condition that my heart was in—I had no idea my actions were saying something so divergent from my writing, my passions, my prayers. And that’s not a place I want to live.
So, how I am keeping a constant gut check on the connection between my lips and my heart?
- I don’t see every new movie, jam to every hit song or read every bestseller. It may seem picky, it may seem silly and it may even seem naive, but when it comes to protecting the deepest chambers of my heart, I’m choosing to not take that lightly. If it’s not something I would be comfortable watching with my Dad, singing with my Mom, or talking with my sister about, it probably isn’t a healthy decision for me.
- What is okay for you may not be okay for me. Each of us struggles with something different. And that’s completely okay. But it’s not okay to choose to go along with the popular majority on a movie choice you know isn’t best for your own thoughts in an attempt to fit in or be accepted. I’m not arguing with friends and peers about choices I make or decisions they choose. At the end of the day, our own connection points between our hearts and actions are between us and God. I’m simply choosing the best yes for me.
- I’m staying accountable. I’m on a family Netflix plan, my family has the passwords to my social media accounts, and I share what I’m doing with my time with them on a daily basis. I don’t do this because I’m not trustworthy, but because I have nothing to hide—and I want it to stay that way.
I want the words I write, the prayers I pray, and the words of encouragement I offer to align with everything I do—even down to the entertainment choices I choose. Who I am and how I interact with the world is the one variable I have control over. I can’t control what happens to me, but I sure can control what happens in me. And this girl? She simply wants to live a life where her words, thoughts, dreams, passions, and calling collide into a beautiful masterpiece.
How are you keeping your actions aligned with your heart?