99% of the time I love being a cheerleader! It’s easy for me to get excited about the contributions others are making to the kingdom.
I marvel at those who have gifts that I don’t.
Like anything having to do with math. Or spreadsheets. Or budgets. A poker face. Technology. Patience. The ability to not speak every word that comes to mind.
But then there are other moments.
Especially with folks who have similar gifts and talents to mine, I find myself doing what psychologists call “yard-sticking” – the act of comparing yourself to others, particularly people in your own peer group, in a manner that results in feelings of inadequacy or jealousy.
And let me just say, I know you. I’m not alone. There are certain people who, when you hear someone rave about them, or see them on social media being all shiny and successful with “perfect kids” or a “perfect job”, it triggers something sad and hurtful inside you. You feel diminished. Discounted. And that is not from Jesus.
Clearly, this is not something I’ve mastered, but there are 5 practices that have been helpful to me. I’ll share the first 3 today:
Ok, many of you reading this may not be single. Or a woman. But who doesn’t have single friends we want to love well? I think this is post in our series “5 Questions About…” will be helpful for all of us. Claire Wyatt is one of my many incredibly-talented-beautiful-inside-and-out-full-of-life single friends. She writes a witty blog called Single Christian Girls. You should totally check it out!
1. What lies are you tempted to believe during this season of singleness? What is God reveling to you about his character?
One of the main lies I go to is wondering if I’m single because I’m being punished, or if God is trying to teach me a lesson but in a very vindictive sense. I have to CONSISTENTLY remind myself that God is good and that all of my sins have been taken care of on the cross. While I might be disappointed that I’m not married, God’s plans are better than my plans. Not only because he’s God, but because He knows me even better then I know myself. He also loves me even more then I love myself. If I rest in that, being single feels manageable.
2. What has been your worst experience as a single woman? Continue reading
Sharon is a dear friend who both inspires and intimidates me with her amazingness. She has guest-posted here before. I’m so thankful that in the midst of a busy, stressful time, she was willing to share some more of what she’s learning. Here’s the next in our 5 Questions About…series.
1. Recently you took what must have felt like a huge risk. Can you tell us about it?
Eight months ago, I resigned from a job I had loved and made the leap to running my own business. This happened after an extended season of prayer and discernment, so by the time I made the change, I felt certain it was the right thing to do.
Yes, there were practical risks involved: leaving a certain income, benefits, 401K; losing the familiarity of my office and team. And as a single person, I didn’t have a safety net of a second income, back-up insurance, or a support person to pick up slack in other areas of life. But I was also very clear about why I was making the change: 1) to be faithful to what I understood God was putting in my hands; 2) to learn and grow through a new challenge.
So when I framed it that way, I realized that even if my business failed (and I had to move into my parents’ basement), I would experience God in deeper ways and learn things I wouldn’t otherwise. Continue reading
This past summer at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit I had the opportunity to live blog for Engage Churches, a part of the Willow Creek Association. I was blown away listening to the teaching of Chris Brown, a pastor at North Coast Church in California. Here’s some of what I wrote that day…
This afternoon, Chris Brown (not that Chris Brown, a different Chris Brown) started with the story of a man approaching a campfire. Creeping forward, and then walking back into the shadows while others by the campfire gossip about his failed leadership around the issue of a certain giant named Goliath.
The man is King Saul. For over a month Saul has been called out and he knows he doesn’t have what it takes. His ministry is paralyzed. His leadership is paralyzed. He’s a leader in trouble who is bailed out by a kid named David.
And then it goes out on Twitter (as it were). 1 Sam. 18:5-9 “Saul has killed his thousands. David his ten thousands.”
Huh?? Big gasp. How is Saul going to react?
“From that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.”
Saul didn’t have room in his chariot for David, the young twerp who bested him.
Leaders struggle with jealousy and comparison. Pride and ego. It’s in the Bible. A lot. Continue reading
Monday I wrote about how God has used the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarepath to teach me. Did it sound like a piece of cake?
Not so much.
Here’s an honest conversation I had with the Lord recently.
Me: Lord, I’m ticked…really disappointed and discouraged. I kind of want to throw my handful of flour back in your face and call it a day.
Honestly, Lord?? What I REALLY want is for You to take my flour and oil and make a ginormous fancy-shmancy cake worthy of the Cake Boss, that people will “ooh” and “aahh” over.
But instead it seems like my flour and oil concoction usually turns out looking more like an ordinary, boring tortilla.
Which of these do you like better?
“You’re invited!” or “Everyone’s welcome!”
Holy buckets! There’s a big difference in my mind between those two phrases.
One is personal. The other is just permissive.
There’s going to be a Girls’ Night out. Or a BBQ. Some folks doing Kareoke. A church event. Lots of people are going. You know that because you’ve seen it on Facebook or read Tweets about it.
But you’re not invited.
If you asked, they’d probably say, “Sure, come! Everyone is welcome!” But that’s different from being personally invited.