About the Author

Alia Joy is an author who believes the darkness is illuminated when we grasp each other's hand and walk into the night together. She writes poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope in...

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  1. Alia Joy,
    Had some trouble posting…I’ll add technologically inept to my “not enough” trait list lol. Anyway, I had to smile when you said she even sweat cute. I am a plus sized gal and I remember my mother saying women don’t sweat, they glisten. Well, I look like a wet, red flushed, rag when I exercise. I need to, as you said, make God and seeking His face my first resolution. When I am in His presence and in His word, scripture like “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” begins to really take root in my soul. Thank you for beautifully reminding us that we are not alone and that the comparison game leads nowhere. Cheering you on, sister, as you/we all learn to know, that in His sight, we are already enough.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • That’s ok Bev. Sometimes comment sections get the better of me too. I’ve had plenty of blogs eat my comment or repost them a few times. And I most definitely do not glisten, although I love that she said that. I’m with you, whatever work I’m doing to make me sweat, it shows. Yes, no one wins at the comparison game for sure. Working on keeping my eyes fixed. 😉

  2. Alia Joy,
    Had some trouble posting…I’ll add technologically inept to my “not enough” trait list lol. Anyway, I had to smile when you said she even sweat cute. I am a plus sized gal and I remember my mother saying women don’t sweat, they glisten. Well, I look like a wet, red flushed, rag when I exercise. I need to, as you said, make God and seeking His face my first resolution. When I am in His presence and in His word, scripture like “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” begins to really take root in my soul. Thank you for beautifully reminding us that we are not alone and that the comparison game leads nowhere. Cheering you on, sister, as you/we all learn to know, that in His sight, we are already enough.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. Learning to love ourselves seems to be a life-long adventure. As I get older, I’ve decided one of the keys for me is to seek God’s approval, not the worlds or even my own. Of course I forget that almost every other second. Thanks for this beautiful post. God bless!
    Jenni at http://www.genuflected.com

  4. Oh, Alia … you always speak to our deepest soul cries with such forceful power. When you write, I lean into every word that comes from your overflowing heart.

    And yes, in the end, it’s Him that we most definitely need. And He saves us from ourselves.

    Appreciating your presence in my life. And yes, the marvels of His powerful grace …

    • Oh how we need to be saved from ourselves. I appreciate you too, thankful for your words here.

  5. Hi there…Minda Joy over in snowy Michigan. Oh your long list of ‘perfect women’ had me laughing hard, ending with the coup de grace of the home-schooled children with their organically sourced fair trade clothing company!!! Brilliant. You nailed it with your multiple descriptions. But…oh isn’t that the truth? Comparison truly is the thief of joy. We can’t let the enemy do that to us. I only subscribe to a few blogs for this very reason & only read them sometimes–if I have the emotional margin/time that day 😉

    “I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.
    I reap grace for others, to excel at what God called them to do in
    all the excellent ways He’s gifted them. To allow others to own their
    gifts and calling without resenting being passed over. They are running
    their own races. No one can outpace me when my route is different.”

    Amen! I shall remind myself of your words as I too continue on my own journey to better health & becoming all God has for me, to become the truest version of myself.

    • It does seem comical how we build people up in our minds, always better than we are. The truth is, the more I got to know “perfect” women, the more I realize they fight their own battles too. We all need to find grace not only for what we don’t do well, but also for what others do. Cheering you on in your journey, Mindy!

  6. Thank you for the reminder my goal is to know God more. I am leading a new ministry called Culture of Wellness where we learn to live grace-FULLY in mind, body and spirit. Your blog post is perfect to use during one of the sessions. I will be crediting you and incourage.me

  7. Love this, “I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.”
    Cheering you on Alia, in your journey to know that you are enough, and that you matter.

  8. All I can say is, yes, yes, YES. Bless you for opening your heart (and your brilliant mind) to let us see the truth inside. “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Psalm 149:4 NASB

    • I just love you, my new friend. Thank you so much for your encouragement and cheering and wide open heart. You bless me big time. I’m so thankful for your wisdom and grace.

  9. Oh my friend… I love you, and I love the way you articulate your journey. Your process of settling into who you most deeply are and all He has for you. Thanks for the gift of these words today – they encourage and inspire. And what He’s doing in you is breathtaking.

  10. Alia Joy… yes… extending grace to ourselves… we miss this so often… because we have no grace for ourselves…we then are straining and striving to give grace to those around us… grace flows from the grace we received … it’s so hard to keep in the truth that He calls us to like the upside down kingdom… where the measuring sticks are broken into pieces… where the hidden things are rewarded… where the first will be last… where a cup of cold water matters… the kingdom of the world rewards and applauds the measurable success according to the economy of this world… oh let us all look to His kingdom… where the unmeasurable things … the hidden things bring Him pleasure…where our reward is according to the economy of HIs Kingdom… LOVE… GRACE and MERCY!!!

    • Grace flows from the grace we received. YES! We don’t have to keep track of things or add things up or subtract things that never seem to come out even or balance. We can just trust in infinite love, where there is no deficit. I love His Kingdom.

  11. Beautiful words, and the thoughts true for me as well. How do I measure up to all that I see? ”

    I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.”

    Thank you!

    • I’m so thankful we don’t have to measure up, because I never will. We just have to show up and accept God’s grace.

  12. Hi Alia Joy,
    I needed to be reminded that I am running my own race, what Jesus wants me to do, not try to do what anyone else is trying to do, looking like anyone else can look like, and be talented like anyone else is talented, or be organized like anyone else is organized.

    I need to do the job I am given to the best of my ability. I am enough because Jesus is in me, and loves me as I am. I learned this past weekend that our perspective is how we see our world through our experiences, how we are, and not true reality, and our expectations is how we expect the world to work, and not true reality.

    You pointed out true reality, my relationship with Christ, and His expectations of me, not anyone else, the path I am to take, and the path of knowing and loving Him, and listening to Him, and doing what He says, blocking out my own voice and the voices of anyone else leading me down to something I can’t attain, nor can I hope to do, or should I do. I have my own desires that Jesus placed in me. Enough on my plate today, and in who I am called to be, for today…..

    Thank you!

    Blessings,

    Joanne

    (I’m speakin’ the reality to myself as a reminder 🙂 )

    • Preach! I often write to myself as well. It’s a good reminder when we get our eyes unfixed from truth and start looking around a bit too much.

  13. This is the most honest and beautifully written post I’ve ever read! And so true to my soul… makes me feel as if you have been peeking into my journal. Never enough. That’s how I’ve felt my whole life, and yet it is all self inflicted and not at all what my Father planned for me. Your writing flows off the page effortlessly and right into the hearts of your readers. Thank you for the perspective and inspiration.

    • I know it well. My friend and fellow (in)courage writer, Jennifer Lee, wrote a book called Love Idol about the never enoughs and being preapproved in Christ. It speaks to so much of this and is a great read if you haven’t yet. I know a lot of women who are finally embracing how they are made, quitting with the comparisons, and walking in freedom. I’m trying to do that very thing myself. So thank you so much for the encouragement! And if you haven’t read it and want to grab a copy, Dayspring carries it in their bookstore also. http://www.dayspring.com/jennifer_dukes_lee_love_idol/

  14. The comparison game is the worst. I’ve found that as I have grown older it has become easier to accept who I am. And I’m okay. 🙂

    • Yes, age can do that. I am in my thirties and I wouldn’t relive the insecurities of my teens for anything in the world. I’m hoping by my 40’s and beyond I’ll have an even firmer grasp of the freedom I have in Christ to be who He created.

  15. *tears rolling down my face* i’ve spent most of my life feeling every way you spoke of and so much more but i’m so thankful for our Father God who affirms me in my fear and when i’ve convinced myself, once again, that i’m not enough He gently guides my eyes from “self” to my Savior. thank you for this beautiful and very funny reminder that i (we) are more than enough in Christ Jesus! be blessed 🙂

    • Oh yes, keeping eyes fixed from self to savior. I love that. It makes all the difference in how we see.

  16. Lovely and well written and observations of life. Like you, I’ve been striving to return to the gift the Lord gave me, permission to live an authentic life, a life that permits grace to abound. Too long have I been crafting an inner world full of rules, many times inner rules that were in competition with one another so I was doomed to failure from the start. Now I am striving to live as the Lord compels, with His freedom. And yes, I am also exercising again 🙂

    • Living an authentic life free from those comparisons lifts the soul and yes, it makes exercising less daunting. 😉 Good for you!

  17. Why are we so hard on ourselves? This was an excellent post for me to read today. I feel fat, my house is yuck, my son refuses to do school today (home school). I look at all my messes and I don’t feel like enough. But in God’s eyes I am enough. We all are!!!! I love your post!!!! Great reminder. There will always be somebody who seems to be better. I see several home school moms that seem to have it altogether. I am really sad because we are in a battle everyday. I am learning that we all are different and we don’t need to do things the same way or be the same. We need to find ways that work for us. But we can’t if we compare ourselves to everybody else. This is easier said then done, isn’t it.

    • From one homeschool mom to another, I so get you. We’ve had times when I’ve felt sure I was doing everything wrong because it’s so difficult and everyone else seemed to have delightful children who begged to do more schoolwork or chores! As I type this my kids are at the kitchen table a few feet away and the breakfast dishes are not loaded into our empty dishwasher but piled in the sink, I’m still in my pajamas way into the afternoon. I’ve been asked a zillion questions, put down one tantrum, and my daughter has no clean socks or pants. It’s easy to think everyone else isn’t battling. But we all do, just in different ways. Hang in there, you do you. It’s enough.

    • I seem to recall someone else who spoke this message of freedom over women and helped release us to accept our identity in Christ. 😉 I referred to Love Idol in one of my comment replies with a link because I think it’s a fabulous resource for people who struggle with this (which is pretty much everyone I’ve met) but Disqus flagged it for the link so it’s off in some holding cloud somewhere. Nonetheless thankful for your wisdom and modeling in this, friend.

  18. Alia Joy, yes, I’ve been that girl. The one whose eyes were on the best of everyone else and the worst of me, yearning for what they had. And feeling left out. And less than. And yes, envying the gifts God had given other women, and wondering why I didn’t deserve those same gifts.

    You spoke such beautiful truths here. I loved what you said here, “Not to change into a me that’s good enough, but to believe that just showing up is part of the journey, not just to a fit self, but to a fit soul.” Just showing up is part of the journey. I needed that reminder.

    Thanks for sharing so transparently. Your words spoke to my heart today.

    • I’m so glad. This post was part of the just showing up and I’ve been really blessed in this journey with all of the beautiful comments so thank you.

  19. You always say all the things in such a way that oozes grace and truth and love. This speaks volumes to me, “I reap grace for others, to excel at what God called them to do in all the excellent ways He’s gifted them. To allow others to own their gifts and calling without resenting being passed over. They are running their own races. No one can outpace me when my route is different.” Our routes are different! Yes! We aren’t in a race against each other…just against time. Against our own ability to run our own race as well as we can for Him and those He calls us to serve. Not to run against our sisters running their own race for the same end game. Thank you for getting me thinking. This gives this day-3-greasy-headed-homeschool mama a lot to chew on today. Grateful for you Alia and GLAD to see you back. <3

    • I need to remind myself of that too because it’s easy to feel passed over, or to resent that everyone else has it easier or seems to be sprinting along just fine while I’m limping through the days. It’s easy to end up in the wrong lane when we’re not mindful of it. 😉 Thanks for the warm welcome back.

  20. It’s amazing how even when we haven’t talked, you are still in my head! I love you so… and pre- or post-workout, you owe me a Vox! 😉

  21. This makes me want to give you a big amen hug! If you’re into hugs that is. My favorite line- No one can outpace me when my route is different.

    • I’ll totally take a hug. I was never a super affectionate person until I had kids and then I started blogging and all these feelings came out. Now I cry and hug. I don’t even know who I am anymore. 😉

  22. Alia,

    Thank you sweetie for your grace words and imagery which actually had me chuckling aloud over here because I’m still trying to figure out the whole skinny jeans and ankle booty deal. I bought a pair trying to be “that girl” but really I’m a driving moccasin, blazer and jeans kinda gal. I’ve had the boots for a year and worn the once. And I won’t go there about the exercise. Ok I will. I get panicky over my little muffin top because I’ve been heavier before and really I fear going back to that place. Thanking God that today I am ok with my imperfections because to my Father, I am His beloved.

    • I don’t think I’ll ever get it. I’ve seen it work on people so I know it’s possible but it’s not working for me and that’s just fine. I think at times we’ve all wanted to be “that girl” whoever she is to us. But yes, your imperfections, the things that make you are enough and ok and beloved.

  23. I don’t know you but I love you and your heart. Amen amen amen! I’ve always struggled with this and see my idol growing as age and wrinkles and forgetfulness edge into my life…the life with the bun and the woodland creatures living in it. Ha!

    • Embrace it! It’s all it’s own version of beautiful and enough. And yes, those buns are their own habitats.

  24. Learning to love ourselves seems to be a life-long adventure. As I get older, I’ve decided one of the keys for me is to seek God’s approval, not the worlds or even my own. Of course I forget that almost every other second. Thanks for this beautiful post. God bless!

    • It’s hard, isn’t it? But how free and beautiful and wild are we for those brief moments when we really and truly do. When we let go and have faith that what God says about is is in fact true.

  25. “I sow grace for myself…I reap grace for others…” I think I may have just found my new prayer mantra. Thank you for a beautiful, vulnerable exploration of what it means to surrender envy. I am inspired.

  26. Thank you for sharing. It made my morning. I am 64 & I wish I could have learned this year’s ago. (To be the best me) That God has made us all so different with different talents to showcase Himself because He is so vast He needs us all to show Himself through. You have a gift of writing, I don’t, but I enjoy reading 🙂 I am off to work to be my best “me” there today. Blessings!

  27. What an incredible sum of truth’s – thank you!! I wish that every woman could get her hands on this article and feel the “anthem” of “you are enough.” I plan to read this over and over again.
    God bless!

  28. Why do we compare ourselves, especially when we know God’s truth? I memorized Psalm 139, and have recited it over and over a million times, yet it fails to detonate in my heart. “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” But my soul really doesn’t. It’s a mindset which says “what God made is not good enough.” That’s not the way I want to think!
    Thank-you for the beautifully-spoken reminder that He has given each one of us a special calling and has made me perfectly for the work He has laid before me.

    • Yes, perfectly made, equipped for everything He’s calling you to. Keep it tucked away. It’s no less true when we struggle to believe it. And we all struggle to believe it.

  29. Alia – that was one of the most awesome and hilarious things I’ve read in all my “blog” reading! And you nailed me right where I stand today… thank you, thank you for this .. and for reminding me how much grace I need to receive, because so many need me to give it.
    What a joy you have given me 🙂

    • Thanks Suzanne. I love that. So many need me to give it. How can we give what we’ve not yet received? So good.

  30. Oh friend. Your words are deep and heart so wide to share with us so we know we are not alone. I’m so thankful for you. How you see. How you write. And how you love. Grabbing grace for my own heart today. And sending so much love to you. And a great BIG squishy hug!! We are enough. ENOUGH. xoxo

  31. wow… your statements
    I push myself to be what I fear I will never be, good enough
    and
    I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.
    A contrast of thought patterns. I pray this too.

    Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you!

  32. Wow. “To allow others to own their gifts and calling without resenting being passed over. They are running their own races. No one can outpace me when my route is different. “Thank you so much for sharing this! I struggle so much with comparison and letting others make me feel inferior.

  33. Wow! I love your writing. It’s so beautiful! You drew me in right away. You have such a wonderful way to let me feel what you were feeling.

  34. Wow, very honest and gutsy, being enough is a biggy to get over, or accept I think and to read this honest view on envying others and deciding that you are enough and we can all be enough is a breath of fresh air. Thanks

  35. I have had this in my in-box waiting for a moment to really savor the read. I think so many women, myself included, can identify with so much of what you write so honestly here. My heart says yes to this: ” I’m not looking for a better version of myself, but a truer version of who I have always been: loved, cherished, beautiful, strong.” And my soul to this: “I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.” Inspired words…