the joy project january 8 2015 I really don’t listen to pop music. The truth be told, I couldn't name three songs on the mainstream radio right now. A couple of weeks ago my husband spent the weekend at a conference in Atlanta for college students called Passion. Somehow during the course of the weekend, he was introduced to the song Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. When he first mentioned the song, I didn't pay much attention. But then as it was played and replayed in our home, I found myself singing along. And then I found myself dancing with our kids to this song.

There’s something really awesome about the message Taylor shares in this song. In a recent interview she says, “The message in Shake It Off is a problem we all deal with on a daily basis. We don’t live just in a celebrity takedown culture, we live in a takedown culture,” she explained about the insanely catchy track. “People will find anything about you and twist it to where it’s weird or wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you — you have to have more fun than they do.”

I have spent many years as a people pleaser. I dislike confrontation. I enjoy peace and comradery . I try to love all people and embrace that we are all different. It hurts when people don’t take the time to know below the surface and make judgments based on their own assumptions. Sadly, I have spent way too many hours of my life worrying too much about other’s opinions and I don't want our children to have these same wasted hours. I want them to love others fully, but realize that others will not always love them back.

It’s a new year and I keep coming back to these three words. Shake It Off. Perhaps, they are three words you need to sing as well.

As Ann Voskamp once said, “People will always have opinions about you. But you live for God because He’s the only one who has intimate knowledge of you.”