Good news when you feel clueless

We sit with friends and tell stories. I laugh about our first apartment–a one-bedroom so small we had to cram  camping gear between the cabinet and refrigerator. I smile and sigh, “I had no idea how to cook, clean or decorate.” My husband and our friends chime in with similar tales. Then I say, “I’m so glad being clueless isn’t a character flaw!”

My friend leans back in his chair and says, “You should write a blog post about that” {be careful about saying that sentence to me because I will probably do it}.

Not knowing is so human.

Yet we so often let us stop us.

Or shame us.

Or make us feel “less than” those we think actually do have a clue.

But only God knows everything.

The rest of us are still just trying to figure it out.

And there’s only one way to cure that–to actually do the thing we’re completely clueless about.

Write that first word.

Take that first awkward dance step.

Cook that first meal and almost burn your one-bedroom apartment down.

Fear will tell you not do it. Ego will yell that you’re going to look silly. Past experience will whisper, “Remember what happened last time…”

But there’s just no way around it. Living is an essential part of learning.

Somehow it’s got to get from your head, to your heart, to your awkward hands.

Because an idea or dream that never turns into action isn’t any better than one you never had in the first place.

Dare to be clueless.

Then dare not to stay that way.

It’s really the only way tomorrow looks different than today {and it tends to make for some really good stories too}.


  1. says

    Thanks for this post, Holley! I am in a place where I’m feeling very clueless as to what’s next but I choose to trust God and His plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). Sometimes I wish it were as easy as turning the page in a storybook. Nonetheless, this blog post has helped me remember that no matter what, God is in control and He knows exactly what He’s doing as He tailor-fits the story of my life. :)

  2. Cindy says

    This is great Holly. I want to be bold enough to take that first step, make that first move – even after I’ve made what I consider to be some pretty “dumb” moves. :) When I first got married, I was cooking on the stove top with a corning ware dish – I thought it’d be okay. My husband was outside working on a vehicle. The glass top on the dish pretty much exploded. Whew! That was 26 years ago. That was a bit scary, but we made it through. Lessons to be learned. Learn and grow! God bless you!

  3. Mariellen says

    Good Morning Holley

    I so enjoy receiving your encouraging e-mails every morning. Today’s was a gift from God. He has put it on my heart to to write for over 5 years now. I have every excuse not to start. The real reason is I’m lueless. I don’t know how to write a book. I hae books fill with devotions I wrote but they stayed tucked away in my closet. Fear is the other emtion that keeps me from writing. What if…. So thamks. I need to just start!! Its that simple yet where do I start!!I know God uses people to help others. Today you have done that. Made me aware that I need to just do it. Thanks for your blogs and encouragement. I keep putting off till tomorrow. One day I will be too late. Have a great day!! Mariellen.

  4. Freda says

    What an thought-provoking and need meeting blog today! As I have sometimes looked back and am now aware of my profound ignorance in some very significant situations, this blog has reminded me of God’s grace and provision! I don’t have the answers for the particular situation, however, I have the God of resolution to handle it. . how freeing and sweet! Praise GOD! Thank you, dear Holley! What a joy to share in this blog! Keep at it!

  5. Cheryle says

    “Take that first awkward dance step”…. Daring to find joy in the simple things and feeling that it’s OK to do so can be overwhelming because we feel that we don’t deserve to have a little fun… to laugh out loud at our inabilities while challenging ourselves to just try something that is beyond our current level of knowledge and understanding… What IF I really could learn to dance and someday NOT look as awkward as I feel… I may just take those “Line Dancing” classes with some friends from church starting this coming Friday??? I pray for courage beyond my fears of public humiliation… THANK YOU for the many smiles that you have given me since I started receiving your email posts. Your bits of whimsy and bigger bits of wisdom are soooooo encouraging:)
    Love and Blessings Always!! Cheryle

  6. Karen says

    I love your blogs – day in and day out.

    I messed up a relationship/friendship by pushing too hard – any blogs are stupidity or I’m sorry – not really allowed to contact this person again….

  7. says

    Holley, thank you! What a powerful post. I’m living awkward right now. It’s scary, uncomfortable and the pressure to turn away is intense. Thank you for the encouragement.

  8. Meredith Waldron says

    Good morning Holley,
    I cooked my first prime rib roast as a “Miss Newly” for our first dinner together. It was an expense we could hardly afford at the time. I happily placed it in a covered Dutch oven, and put it in the oven at 350degress for about four hours… looked like a gray softball and could not be cut with an ax!
    At least the pie crust I also made was a substantial inch thick and tasted a little like spackle…. That was 34 years ago. A few weeks ago, my son told someone they should try my buttermilk pie, that it would change their life! Every failure is another opportunity to trust God! My usual line when I would ask who wanted to say grace was, when I cook, you’d better pray!
    Thanks for all your encouragement!

  9. says

    Thanks Holly. I needed to hear these words this morning. I just turned in an article for consideration and am waiting to hear back. These words were very encouraging. Thank you.

  10. Amanda says

    Thanks, Holley. Before I read your blog, I was confessing the fear and anxiety I’ve been feeling about so many things [and everything at once] and thanking God for His Love, Grace, and Forgiveness [not too mention His Long-suffering]! :-) As I was sharing my heart with Him, I realized that I was holding onto fear and shame and not onto Him. Thank you so much for confirming for me [as always :-)] that life is just taking one step at a time. There’s no condemnation, and it’s OK if I’m clueless and make mistakes..I’m only human! :-) Hallelujah, Praise the Lord! :-) God Bless You, and Have a Happy Monday! :-) ~Amanda

  11. Nancy says

    thanks Holley! for this encouraging blog entry, & all of them. Loved finding your book “You’re Already Amazing” when we were on holidays a few months ago. I’m going through the questions in the back now and like how you keep it all Jesus/Grace/gospel focused while breaking down the parts of personal growth. My husband had already heard of you through the Dayspring articles and now I’ve also added you to my list of ‘favourites’.

    Have a great week.


  12. Kara J Webb says

    Thanks Holley for this entry. You can feel very defeated and clueless in so many areas of our lives but knowing that we are not supposed to know everything is a great comfort and a daily reminder that could make my start to the day even better. Life long learner is an expression I use at work but it is something that is a lifestyle! You are a blessing to so many, thank you for the blog. I am new to reading it and am so excited to receive the message that there is a new entry. It brightens my day!

  13. says

    Oh Holley, how I needed to read this today. Too often I have allowed my not knowing to stop from pursuing new things because I didn’t want to be ashamed.

  14. says

    Dear Holly I understand what your saying because each and every day I wake up clueless on what is going to happen for that day unless I have it written down what I am to do I stand there looking at the work . I can do that tomorrow and that is the way my day goes

  15. Bev says

    Thanks Holley….this is great and just where most of are or have been if we just take time to think about it and admit it. Blessings to you!

  16. Sonja says

    Thanks i really needed that! The Lord is leading me some directions that are a bit outside of my comfort zone. So i needed the encouragement :-)

  17. Barbara says

    Thank you once again, Holley! Your words are so timely! I was just watching the Olympics and looking back about 47 years when my life could have taken a different turn. And then I’ve been thinking about all the ‘if onlys’ of the last 60 years and wondering how I let the fear of failure stand in my way. It’s not too late to do what I’ve longed to do – the focus and drive of those young Olympians has inspired me to believe God can still use me, and I will decide to do what He’s put me here to do! (That’s not diving from great heights like it could have been, but it takes the same amount of bravery to throw myself heart and soul into LIFE!!!). God bless you, Holley!!! XXX

  18. says

    Thanks for this blog post. Funny how the Lord works in mysterious ways; I was just talking to God about how every situation in life can be a life changing experience if we let it…. that was 5 minutes ago! WOW…. thanks Holley!

  19. Janna says

    Thanks for the post. I am embarking on a new journey of substitue teaching, after a long stint as stay at home mom. This was so timely…

  20. Denise says

    Dear Holley,
    I could not have read your words at a more perfect time. I used those very words to describe how I was feeling “less than” yesterday. I started regressing back to where I used to be, in that pit of despair, where there is no hope. But how could I, when I have come so far and the Lord has delivered me in so many ways. I had forgotten for a moment His goodness and grace to me. I started believing the lies whispering in my ear. This morning I read in Is. 43:18: “Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?” and also Ps. 18:6: “He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” Then I read your post. I am so grateful for you Holley. You understand those feelings. You give voice to those thoughts so we don’t feel all alone and you point us toward God, who loves us and is so much bigger than us. Thanks for being an encouragement. I really needed it today.
    Wishing you all God’s blessings,

  21. margaret says

    Thank you for making me know im not the only one who sometimes feels clueless and for reminding me that it’s only God who knows everything. You’re amazing!

  22. Miriam says

    Clueless. What is that! I tell you I am clueless most of the time. :)
    It’s great to know that even if I am clueless my Father in heaven never is. I don’t have a clue what tomorrow might bring… but I know who holds my hand through the tomorrows. He is the one that never leaves me or forsake me. Of this.. I am not “clueless”!
    Lord bless you my sister… and all the sisters that have posted.

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