When It’s Hard to Be You

photo by ChalonHandmade

photo by ChalonHandmade

 

I took a deep breath as a I stepped to the front of the room. I was at the She Speaks conference in North Carolina–a place full of women I love, respect and admire. Many of them are gifted speakers who have voices that reach across a room. In contrast, I’m quiet, gentle, the one who loves having coffee with one heart at a time. In the past, I’d tried act like “a speaker” when I did events. I always walked away feeling as if I’d fallen short.

Today I felt God whispering to my heart, “Just go up there and be who I made you.” So I told the women that I wish we could have a cup of coffee today and asked them to picture their favorite cafe. Together we imagined what it would be like if I could sit across the table from them and they could simply ask me about God-sized dreams {the topic of the workshop}. Then I told them what I would want their hearts to hear and their minds to understand by the end of that conversation.

I felt full of peace the entire time–even when the projector had technical issues and I lost my notes. Yep. It actually became one of the best parts of our time together. Later women told me how a calming voice in the middle of a busy conference was just what they needed for that hour. Several of them mentioned how the projector disaster helped them feel less nervous. I felt like I’d truly connected because I’d been fully me.

I’m going to speak that way from now on.

Because I found this out: Yes, sometimes it’s hard to be you. But it’s always harder to try to be someone else.

Maybe you have a quiet voice too. Or maybe you have one that reaches across the room. Maybe you’re an introvert. Maybe you’re an extrovert. Maybe you feel at home with feelings. Maybe you’re a woman who loves facts. Maybe you’re fond of fancy. Maybe you cherish simplicity. You’re made in the image of God and your purpose is to mirror a part of who he is in a way only you can. When you try to be like someone else, you end up reflecting them instead of God.

So whoever you are, be you today.

Because Someone Who Loves You made you that way.

XOXO

Holley

P.S. Wanted y’all to know that LifeWay has You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream for only $5 today. Don’t you just love a good sale?

 

Why You Really Can Be Confident

photo credit to clevercupcakes

My husband holds the iphone in his hand and reads ancient words still alive today. I hold my hand up for him to pause. “Wait,” I say, “Read that part again.” I think in my non-morning person fogginess I must have heard it wrong.

He repeats, “Faith is confidence….” {Heb. 11:1}

Huh.

I heard right after all.

But those words made me wonder what I hadn’t been hearing at all, for all my life.

Of course faith is the secret of confidence.

Why had I never made the connection before?

I tend to think of faith as external while confidence comes from within.

But isn’t that where faith really comes from too? From our hearts and the One who dwells within them…

Will you read the rest with me on (in)courage?

Why who you think you are matters

photo by  tejvanphotos

On the way to a crazy 50 mile bike ride with my husband I text back and forth with my wonderful friend. Our conversation sounds kinda like this:

Me: Why am I doing this?

Friend: I have no idea.

Me: Because I like a challenge? Because my hubby wants me to? Because there will be free snacks along the route?

I can’t put my finger on the motivation.

I turn from texting to the screen of my Kindle. These words from Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard jump off the page at me…

“We essentially ask ourselves three questions when we have a decision to make:

Who am I?

What kind of situation is this?

What would someone like me do in this situation?”

–Chip and Dan Heath

We think we make decisions based on facts and rational thinking. It turns out a lot of times our decisions are based on our identities–both who we believe we are now and who we aspire to be in the future.

I was doing that 50 mile bike ride because I wanted to be the kind of wife who does stuff like that with her husband.

Huh.

That identity push was powerful enough to get me up at the crack of dawn and take me through 50 miles of riding.

Why does understanding this matter?

Because it means if our identity is based on untruth then we will make decisions that are out of line with God’s best for us.

If I believe I’m someone with nothing to offer then I’ll hold back.

If I believe my life doesn’t have a purpose then I’ll be more likely to live without intention.

If I believe God should have made me different than I will be hesitant to use the strengths and gifts He’s placed within me.

On the other hand…

If I believe I’m who God has created me to be and He’s given me what I need to accomplish all He’s called me to do then I will make decisions that move me forward in His purpose for my life.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Heb. 12:1-2

What hinders us? Often it’s what we believe about who we are.

Do we all struggle with this? Of course.

And we will until the day we’re home in heaven forever.

But we can stand at the starting line of a new day together and say, “This is who God says I am. And because of that, I will be different today.”

Let’s persevere in our race, friend.

Are you ready to move forward together?