Mrs. McJudgy Pants goes to Allume

Mrs. McJudgy Pants goes to Allume

Have you ever traveled somewhere wonderful and discovered you brought along an uninvited and unwelcome guest?

Last week when I packed for Allume—a conference for 450 Christian women bloggers—I had no idea Mrs. McJudgy Pants had come along for the ride.

No wonder my suitcase was so heavy.

Mrs. McP didn’t make her appearance until I was choosing my Saturday morning session.

Well, I didn’t notice her until then. . .


I stood still in a river of women, their excited words tumbling over and around me as they headed for their presentations.

I glanced over my program, checking one final time to confirm there was nothing that was a must-attend.

The peace and quiet of my room was calling, and I was ready to answer.

I headed for the elevator and was surprised by a nudge.

I ignored it and was nudged harder.

Kim, you need to go to that Art session.

Are you kidding me? Did you see those words?



Avant-garde approach

Yeah, those are such a match for this gal who wears white senior-citizen shoes, has little fashion sense, and really dislikes modern art.

Did you see her picture, for goodness sake?

She has a Mohawk. 

A tall ridge of spiky, bright blond hair.

And she’s an Artist.

I’m sure she has nothing for me. . . Mrs. McJudgy Pants said.


A final nudge changed the direction of my footsteps towards Ballroom H, and I relented with a defiant Fine, I’ll go.

Imagine my surprise and embarrassment when presenter Erika Morrison captivated me with her words, especially this:

 Art is your soul outside your body.

She shared a perspective I’d never seen and brought me to tears telling a story of a hard mama moment.

You know, one of those times we all have, when you wish those kids would listen and change their behavior.

Because it certainly is never us that needs the changing.


When the session finished, I went up to Erika and confessed how I came to be there, and shared how enjoyed her message and how grateful I was for this fresh new view.

Thankfully, she was as graceful as I had been McJudgy.


Perhaps instead of speaking words of

peace and tolerance

grace and forgiveness

getting along and being understanding

but then behaving like a Mrs. McJudgy Pants, we need to recognize that annoying persona may actually stand in the way of an idea, a solution, or a friendship.

We all don’t have to be best friends, but we need to be willing to put our best foot forward together every day.

Care to join me?


Question: Have you struggled with being a Mrs. McJudgy Pants? I’d love to have you join the conversation!


PS-I’d like to thank my dear new friend Miriam for calling me out as a McJudgy Pants when I told her how I ended up in the session with her and Molly—another great new friend—when I had already told them I wasn’t going.


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  1. OH I loved this – your post AND hers! Thank you for sharing. I understand your Saturday morning struggle…and the blessing of obedience that followed when you listened to His still, small voice and got your socks knocked off. Good for you!!!! Love when that happens!

    • Hi Beth! Thanks so much for your sweet words. I joke that a defiant “Fine!” was one of my words this weekend. Funny how I pray to be led, and then balk when it isn’t where I want to go. ..

  2. Kim – I couldn’t help but laugh and smile about Ms. Judgy Pants. I think all of us struggle with that girl. She makes you think you have rights to our opinions. I love that you pushed the mute button on her and walked in obedience to God’s prompting. This weekend there was a person who was rubbing me the wrong way and I never even attempted to stretch myself. I just avoided that person all weekend. I’m pretty sure my face gave it away too. My Ms. Judgy Pants can give looks that kill. I’m still a HUGE work in progress but I’m so grateful that God hasn’t given up on me :) Thanks for sharing your heart and being willing to stretch yourself. I feel SO blessed to know you and had the chance to give you a BIG HUG.
    Delonna recently posted…Five Minute Friday @ AllumeMy Profile

    • Right back at you Delonna! You were such a blessing to me this weekend! The GSDT is the gift that just keeps on giving! On the drive back with Molly, I remembered I saw a woman three different times, and she looked really irritated. Once it was because I was chatting in the buffet line and had stopped the line without realizing it. Yikes-we shouldn’t get between us gals and food! I, too, could have stretched myself, and didn’t. Ah, well, works in progress we are!

  3. I loved that you came to me with this story right after my session…you couldn’t have known that one of my fears going to Allume was that I would be judged for my appearance. I mean: if *I* saw me, I would judge me! 😉

    I don’t think you need an explanation for my hair-do AT ALL, but I do want to tell you a story….

    Last January my best friend found out that she had breast cancer. When her hair started falling out in May as a result of chemo, I shaved my head nearly down to my scalp – solidarity and all that. Life became very sober for a while there, us “youngins” faced with our mortality so sudden-like. The whole thing produced this urgent “I ain’t dead yet” feeling in me that made me decide to have more fun in life and be a little more free. One of things I decided was to be a experimental, daring and crazy with my hair while it was growing out. Hence, the wild-ish hairs-did at Allume. :)

    Thank you for being obedient in coming to my session and thank you SO much for writing this.

    I love you,

    • Wow, wow, wow. I am so humbled again. So sorry I was so judgmental, and yet so glad I was prompted to apologize and write this. What a lesson! I pray your best friend is better.

      Here’s another bit of the backstory for you: I am not a night owl, yet I don’t think I ever went to bed before midnight any of the four nights I was at Allume, and was generally awake by 6or 6:30. I was so grateful to sink into bed last night, and figured I’d write this post sometimes today.

      Instead, I awoke at 2:30 with this post racing around in my brain and it JUST WOULDN’T LET GO. So I got up and wrote the post. Now I’m really tired. :-) Thank you so much for sharing your story-love you too!

  4. Kim,
    Do you always have to be so BRUTALLY honest? Mrs. McP lives at my house too, I guess. Thank you for calling us all out and challenging us to lead with faith, rather than the fear that keeps us at a distance, pointing fingers and sneering, ever so politely. Ouch. Amen.
    So glad you had a good time at Allume.
    Praying to see you soon.
    Peace and good, sweet sister.
    Chelle recently posted…Cutting a path to JoyMy Profile

  5. I love this post so much! I was totally moved by your courage to admit your first impressions. I think women are SO often like this but so rarely open to being proven wrong. YOU are a gem for admitting it and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. It’s my honor to call you a friend. XO

    • Thank you so much, Amber. I am so glad we ended up together in our room so that I got a chance to know you. I am humbled by your words, and am honored as well to call you my friend! xo

  6. Kim, I absolutely love this! Isn’t it funny how we so often get in the way of ourselves with notions we didn’t even realize we had! I was able to be in the session with Erika for just 5 minutes and was weeping as she did a reading about foot washing…it’s just like the Lord to arrest us in a place we never expected to find ourselves! thank you for sharing your heart so vulnerably and authentically! heaps of blessing on you, Logan
    Logan recently posted…For the Love of the GameMy Profile

    • You put that perfectly, Logan! I fall over myself far too often.
      Yes, I am always surprised and overwhelmed when He does that. It’s hard in a good way. :-)
      Thank you for coming on over today!

  7. I love the picture it fits perfect with your post. Mrs. McJudgy pants it a great new word title. At first I thought you had a cat jump in your suitcase. I must admit that I have trouble in this area now and then. I do try very hard to not be judgmental. I think I will remember this term and try not to be a Mrs JcJudgy Pants.
    Thanks for the thoughts today; it was a fun post. I loved the outcome.

    • Glad you enjoyed the message, LeAnn. It was really hard to stand up and confess, and it was doubly hard to do it in front of God and everybody here on the internet. I am so glad I did, though. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  8. This is a wonderful post Kim – thanks for writing it! I was actually standing there in the room near you and Erika after her session when you shared some of these thoughts and words with her and us standing around, (all of us gaping with joy and amazement after her incredible session :) ). I LOVE that you listened to the voice of the Spirit telling you to go and listen to Erika. I knew I would love her session, but I had no idea that it would be one of my favorite moments in all of Allume. She gave us SO MUCH to unpack and process, and her words indeed spoke to the deepest parts of my soul. It was lovely to meet you in person this weekend!
    Sarah Caldwell recently posted…Day 14…My Favorite Soup RecipeMy Profile

    • I agree-her words were amazing! I hope she writes the ebook we were encouraging her to write. Thanks so much for your kind words. It was such a delight to get to meet so many other bloggers, including yourself!

  9. Kim, you rock!!!!! Love this and lived being with you!! …and I can only call what I see in myself WAY too much!!

    • I so get that, Miriam. We see what we know. ;-D
      Thank you truly for giving me that name, and hence the name for the post.
      Apparently McJudgy Pants are truly, honestly, one-size-fits-all!
      Love you lots!

  10. Yup. I once went to a workshop and the speaker showed up in “immodest” clothes and used language that was “colorful.” Mrs. McJudgy Pants showed up, but moments later I had to shove her out the door. Turned out the speaker had a ministry to LGBT folks and she was from Australia. She was also one of the most lovely, gracious people you will ever meet.

    • So glad you shoved her out the door, Lori. I know my reaction would have been the same as yours, and it certainly wouldn’t have been welcoming.
      Being shaped is always good, but sometimes a painful process. . .
      Thanks so much for sharing this story. It is all to easy to just fall into McJudgy Pants mode without even thinking about it!

  11. I’m sad that I’m often a McJudgy Pants! I wish I could come up with a great example. I find that my people instincts aren’t superhuman. They’re imperfectly human. Sometimes when I stop to listen more, I’m shocked by how much value and depth new people bring to my life, when I didn’t think that could happen.
    On a sidenote, Allume sounds so beautiful. Since I’m not Christian, it might not be the best place for me, but hey – that’s just me being McJudgy Pants. I’m sure it would be a wonderful experience!
    Tamara recently posted…Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.My Profile

    • Tamara, I am just glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read your comment. I laughed out loud when you called yourself a McJudgy Pants. There is so much we have in common. :-)

      Allume is beautiful.

      I think, like most any conference, half the experience is about how we each approach it. I can tell you the gals I met were sweet and kind and supportive and encouraging. The big bloggers and authors were gracious and accessible.

      We had an open mic night, and one of my new friends was reading a post on parenting her willful young daughter. She was struggling to read through her tears, and a mom she barely knew got up to stand with her, to offer comfort and support. I saw that same open hearted encouragement regularly.

      I guess I would say that Allume is all about community and the relationships, both with each other, and with God.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your heart. Love you and your photography, and glad we are friends!

  12. Kim,
    You always make me laugh with your words…So glad you listened to the Spirit’s prompting and went, and were blessed :)
    Dolly recently posted…How far would you go for love?My Profile

  13. Such a good post, Kim — and I’m right there with you! I think, if we’re honest, everyone is there. And that’s what makes this so good. Thank you for being brave and sharing this.
    And I have to say what an absolute joy it was to meet you in real life! I love big conferences, but don’t love that they’re so big and busy. I hope we’re both there next year and can sit and actually VISIT. Hugs to you, my friend :)
    Susan Stilwell recently posted…Making progress? I hope!My Profile

    • These are truly the only one-size-fits-all pants that really do fit, although they are so restricting. :-)
      I just love that we got to meet, even though we never got to sit and really chat. Next year, for sure! I heard they were going to hold in Greenville, SC again. Hope so!

  14. Oh, I do love that definition of “art.” I got my bachelors in Fine Art but never thought about art being an expression of my soul. Interesting! And I’ve taken more than my share of turns at being Mrs. McJudgy Pants, Kim. I’m so glad you shed your inhibitions, preconceptions and ventured into a new domain. That’s one thing I absolutely love about conferences–they always seem to open my mind to all sorts of new thoughts and possibilities! Thanks for sharing this hilarious look at one of your Allume experiences and for challenging us to step out into new territory. :)

    • It’s so good to hear from everyone that I am not alone. Not that it makes my behavior ok…
      Conferences are great, aren’t they? This was my first blogging conference, and it really was an incredible experience from the relationships to the practical information to the insights. Thanks as always for your kind words, dear friend!

  15. I loved this Kim! So true how we make quick judgments based on so little information – I’ve been so guilty of this. It’s interesting, I almost skipped two different break out sessions b/c I was so exhausted. Yet I was literally (at one point) compelled out of bed to run down and make it and little did I know how each of those sessions had a message so specifically geared to something the Lord needed to teach me. The important this is that we obeyed the Lord and went in time! So great to hug your neck this weekend.

    • I wonder how many others were nudged like us, Gindi? At least it was a casual weekend, so you would have been ok to show up in your pj’s. Glad that you, too, answered that call to hear what you needed to. It was so worth it, wasn’t it? Yes, it was so good to grab onto you and all the other GSDT’s. What a great group!!

  16. This is the most beautiful piece. I have found myself tongue tied after Allume. This makes me more so. I am a slow processor….so this puts me further into my processing mode. Oh how I love that the Lord brought me to this and oh how I wish we had met. I was in that session. It was over the moon. Just amazing in every way.
    Elizabeth W. Marshall recently posted…Simply BeMy Profile

    • Hi Elizabeth! I am humbled by your words. I agree-there is so much to process. I am thinking/rethinking what and how I’m doing, where I’m going, and all the neat things I’d like to do RIGHT NOW. And how can I possibly put into words the experience?
      I am so grateful, too, for the spiritual drenching!
      Thank you for coming by to share!

  17. Yeah, I know that woman. She lives inside my head, too. And I am SO GLAD I didn’t listen to her where Erika Morrison is concerned. I began reading her about two years ago and I so love her words and her heart. We even met in person last month, when my husband and I were traveling in NE. She is the real deal, and I’m so glad her session was such a smashing success. She brings it, that girl does. YES. Thanks for these good words, Kim.
    Diana Trautwein recently posted…31 Days of Giving Permission . . .TO WRITE YOUR OWN PSALMMy Profile

    • Wonderful-so we are “friends” with the same person! :-) Erika is the real deal, and her words were transformational for me. I’m so glad you had a chance to meet her in person-what a joy!

  18. Love your obedience to His call in the elevator, and at 2:30 in the morning!! Such a powerful post – your heart to share with others is beautiful. WOW!! It was such a JOY to meet you and to pray with you this weekend! (Sad I missed that session!!)

  19. Hello Christine! It is so nice to see you here, and especially to have met you this weekend! What an incredible blast it was to be in person with members of GSDT! I have to tell you that when Melissa A. grabbed me Saturday night to sit and pray with you girls, you absolutely overwhelmed me—in a good way, of course—to tears. Thanks for your words, your friendship and encouragement. You ROCK, girl! xo

  20. I heard that session was amazing. I look back on life and I wonder at all the times I’ve missed out on because I’ve judged people prematurely. Usually I’d be fine with mohawks and tattoos but give me a white lady with fancy shoes and a nice car and I’d go to town. So yeah, we all have to humble ourselves. Because does the big stuff when we’re obedient. When we’re listening. Thanks for sharing this story. I am glad you got to experience that blessing of being available and obedient.
    Alia Joy recently posted…When Brave Speaks: An Allume RecapMy Profile

    • Ah, we all have our prejudices, don’t we Alia? The commonality is that we all miss out, whatever they are. :-(
      I’m glad you enjoyed this, and I hope you just walk on through the door next time you realize your McJudgy Pants are trying to keep you away. Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Kim, second time was even better than the first. I loved hugging the neck of one so darn happy and encouraging. I love reading the honesty of the situation you found yourself in and the swiftness with which you acted on that nudging. I am praying that you continue to be blessed from that obedience. I. Heart. You. (White Senior Citizen Shoes? Really? I never even noticed.) 😉
    Missy recently posted…Rainbows and Unicorns and AllumeMy Profile

    • That it was, Missy! Just regret not making it up to the Smiley Booth with you. We would have totally rocked it. Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with my shoes. I can walk because of them and my orthotics, but they are just so darned senior-y. Work in progress on the gratitude there. . . If you follow the link you can see how I came to be paired up with them. Thanks for stopping by. It was a huge pleasure to see you again! xo

  22. I’ve heard that session was breathtaking and she got a standing ovation! It makes me wish I had been in there!
    Vanderbilt Wife recently posted…I Said the Word Boobs to Ann Voskamp.My Profile

    • She did and it was. We encouraged her to create an ebook out of the content-I hope she will! Thanks for coming by.

  23. Oh my, Kim, what a great post! Apparently Mrs. MJP has lots of sisters, because one lives at my house too and tries to stick her ugly nose out too often. I just signed up for your book- hopefully a little gratitude attitude adjustment will help!

    • Hi Melinda! How are you? We have moved to TN from NH. Our lives have been a whirlwind, to put it mildly. :-)
      Yup, I figured Mrs. MJP had relatives. Too bad about that. :-( Thanks so much for signing up for my book. I hope it does help. Keep me posted and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help. xo

  24. Oh, I love this post. It’s so easy to find myself being an automatic Judgy Pants. You worked through it and had a real Ah Ha moment. I love that. I need to be more aware of how this creeps in and stop it immediately. Well done!!

    • Thanks, and glad you liked this. Yes, it does creep up on us, doesn’t it? I’ve noticed it too often since that moment.

  25. Two years ago Mrs. McJudgyPants almost made me miss out on a friendship too! –A woman at a writing workshop who I thought had got lost on her way to a ComicCon. Turns out she’s a lovely, young-at-heart Christian lady with a devoted husband, a couple of teenagers and a brilliant imagination. So glad I wiggled out of “The Pants” and introduced myself! We still keep in touch. Thanks for this.
    Janice C. Johnson recently posted…Out With the New, In With the OldMy Profile

    • Oh, my gosh-ComiCon?! I can only imagine how you felt, wearing those same style of constricting pants myself. Thanks so much for sharing your story and reminding us all again how important it is to reach out of our comfort zone!

  26. Oh we have all been there! I love how you write these posts that make us think! I feel like I am gaining the tools to become a better person every time I read one of your blog posts!
    Michelle recently posted…Bitten by the Cross Country Bug?My Profile

  27. Oh my. We use the phrase “Judgy McJudgy Pants” in our home. I have no idea when we started using it, but I know exactly what you mean.
    susan recently posted…Eggs are bad for my marriageMy Profile


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