Eight years ago I started Citizens of Beauty. I wanted to create a space where I could teach women about beauty, and that beauty comes in all forms. That we aren’t perfect in any way, but also that there are things we can do to give us a boost of confidence like, learning to do your makeup, having good skin care and finding awesome clothing pieces that won’t break the bank (I can’t wait for the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale by the way). It’s been a fun space, but there has always been something missing. Before you check out of this blog post, I want you to hear me out because there might be something for you here.
(photo by River Bennet and The First Hello)
Blogging started as a way to express one’s self and to be authentic. Of course, it’s a business, and there is strategy involved, and I have to be aware of a million things to keep this going. One of the things I have always been aware of is this: keep Jesus out of your blog if you want to get paid partnerships which are crucial to running any blog.
Maybe this is true; maybe this is not. I’ve never really tested the waters to find out. But today I’m gonna, and I hope you will allow me to be real with you all.
You see, in addition to this online presence, I help lead a church right outside of Austin, TX called Mission. I just finished putting on my second women’s conference called MVMT (movement), where I spoke along with several women who run their businesses, some bloggers, some not, but we all have one thing in common, we love Jesus.
(picture by River Bennet and purse is that knockoff designer bag I love)
Now, I’ve always been a very blunt and honest person. If you find me doing one of my lives on Facebook or Instagram, you will catch a hint of that bluntness. And because of that, it has always felt VERY un-authentic and very counter-nature to talk beauty while sharing my struggles in life like I do and not discuss the one to whom I run to when I engage in those struggles like depression or anxiety or when I suffered from a miscarriage.
I have always felt fearful of offending someone when it comes to Jesus. But the truth is, if someone doesn’t believe in God, there is no need for them to be offended, therefore, no need for me to be worried. No need to have a hidden Jesus. And if I get backlash…such is life and the life of being a leader.
Recently I went to a conference in Honolulu called Arise at Inspire Church and got to meet and be with three amazing women: Lisa Kai, Andi Andrews, and Lisa Bevere. All three of these women are authors and pastors and incredibly dynamic in their own right. In so many ways, they taught me to step out and stop hiding. To be exactly who God called me to be in precisely the spaces he invited me to.
I don’t need to make all of these sections. Like, “here is blogging Kendra” and “makeup artist Kendra” and “mom Kendra” and “wife Kendra” and “church planting Kendra” and “sarcastic Kendra” and “She loves Jesus Kendra.” They can all move and be together. Being one doesn’t cancel out the other.
In the end, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I believe that and I know that. I love writing. I love speaking. I love teaching. I love blogging, and I love what Jesus is doing in me too much not to share. I’m not going to live in fear anymore.
What does this mean? Well, it means that I am going to be incorporating in this blog what God is teaching me through leading a church and doing life as a wife, mother, friend and broken human who desperately wants to sift through the yuck and find the beauty on the other side.
What this DOES NOT mean are judgy posts that are annoying and make you want to vomit a little. Of course, there will still be fashion and beauty posts. Duh. Who do you think I am?
I am a Citizen of Beauty. Maybe you are too.
But I’m redefining what that means. I feel like in doing this I am getting my joy back for this online beauty space as it’s always been an extension of me.
If you haven’t joined my mailing list yet, I suggest that you do and thanks to all of you who have been with me from the beginning.
And for those of you who are struggeling with what I have been struggling with and you are feeling confused about your place as a Christian in the context of your world, my advice is the same to you that was given to me: God is not a God of confusion (thanks Andi Andrews). It’s confusing when you start seperating yourself into sections. So, don’t make it so complicated. Go be Jesus to the world and extend love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control in whatever space you are in. Love people, love people, love people. The end.