“Sugar. Spice. And everything nice.
These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girls.
But Professor Utoniom accidentally added an EXTRA INGREDIENT to the concoction.... CHEMICAL X.
Thus, the POWERPUFF GIRLS WERE BORN!”
I think if my childhood was somehow transformed into a 90s show on Cartoon Network, it would have opened quite similarly to that of the Powerpuff Girls. Perhaps something to the effect of…“Flowers. Dirt. But never a skirt.”
In my made up cartoon show, I would have been the little blonde girl in a basketball jersey, black shorts and a baseball cap. This would have been my ensemble everyday, not only because cartoons never change their clothes, but also because I HATED skirts. And lace. And the color pink. Each episode would have featured the perilous escapades of my band of brothers and I as we fought the bad guys to their epic defeat. My superpower would have been “super strength” to go along with my pathetic “punching” sound effects.
If you couldn’t tell, I was a total tom boy growing up. The other girls played hop scotch and barbies; but I found that so dull and unappealing. I wanted excitement! I wanted thrill! And I wanted dirt! Throughout elementary school, I played every sport imaginable. I preferred sweat to glitter. I received countless trophies for all of my sporting events. I even picked hockey players for my halloween costumes instead of the Disney princesses.
By the time I hit junior high and high school, the whole tom boy thing wasn’t cute anymore. I didn’t know how to dress like a girl or talk to boys. Hair and makeup, which really mattered during the teen years, were downright frightening to me. I became awkward and insecure; so I hid myself away. My personality dwindled like sun scorched flowers in July as I couldn’t seem to access the feminine side of myself. It was all soooooooooooo uncomfortable. I can’t add enough “o” letters to the word “so” in that previous sentence.
Thankfully, I’ve since grown out of my awkward tom boy days. Or maybe I’ve just started growing into my femininity. In fact, almost every accessory I have right now is covered in blush tones. There’s my water bottle, my phone case, my backpack, my laptop case, my journal, and my favorite scarf all signaling my change of heart.
The feminine side, the longing to experience beauty in the world and to be the beauty in the world seems to come naturally to most girls. It took a little longer for me. The awakening of my feminine self didn’t come until my early twenties. Though that seems like too long, I think it’s wonderful to STILL discover parts of myself that I didn’t know existed.
Growing up, I was ashamed that I wasn’t “girly” enough, or “pretty” enough, or “gentle" enough. But God was persistent with me. He was knocking on these locked doors of my heart, and it was His presence that made a way for their release.
God lead me to a place of healing, vulnerability, and truth in who I am. He was full of love, acceptance and patience as He gave me wide open fields of freedom to discover all that He made me to be. He uncovered the deep recesses of my soul where both flowers and dirt exist. It doesn’t have to be one or the other!
He created me to long for ADVENTURE and to crave BEAUTY.
Don’t believe me? Just take me to a garden at sunset or on a walk by a gentle stream. That sort of beauty awakens a part of my soul like nothing ever could. I am undone. I am open. I am ready to share the depths of my being. And I am at rest. But if you want to see me come alive and in action, take me paint-balling, dirt biking, or surfing. That kind of adventure gets my blood pumping and my heart racing with intensity. I am strong. I am confident. I can’t be beat. And I am ready to move mountains.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Both parts of me can exist.
There is far more to this story than this site can hold. Maybe one day I will write it all down, but for now I am content letting the story unfold. I am excited to discover more as the seasons come. These days I'll just enjoy being made up of flowers and dirt.
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Jen is a pastor, worship leader, writer, and songwriter living in Napa, California.