and another thing...
Since releasing the eBook, I've had all sorts of thoughts and struggles of my own concerning using my voice and speaking life. I find that's the way the Lord works, right? If He gives us something to say, He usually takes us all the way through it. He let us fail at it, so we can experience His grace and desire for others to experience it too. I want to be the expert at being quiet and saying something, but I'm just an expert in needing God's grace when I don't really want it. All that being said, I've had even more thoughts on the subject and I'll be sharing them here.
Having it all.
Is anyone tired of this conversation? This topic?
How do we have balance? Margin?
How do we run shops/manage families/bless husbands/have hobbies/read books/make meals/have jobs/look cute?
How do you do it all?
How does she do it all?
Hayley and I even started giving up good with the intention of freeing women by being open about all the things we DON'T do.
But you know what? I wish more people would be honest when they fail.
So, I'll start and tell you. I've been failing.
I have reached for having it all instead of taking care of what I've been given.
I wrote an eBook with three main points that I desperately
wanted to share with other women.
1. God has given you influence.
2. You can choose to speak life or death to your influence.
3. The best way to speak life and impart grace to your hearers is to get quiet before the Lord and let Him affect you.
In the past few weeks, I have greatly doubted my influence anywhere. I've looked at the online world and felt passed over and missed and unheard and unappreciated. I haven't approached that ministry with a "how can I bless them" attitude but more of a "why isn't anyone listening" mentality. Selfish and wasteful. I've thrown my hands in the air when my children aren't listening in frustration. Rather than thinking about WHY they aren't listening. Instead of listening to them. I've wallowed in feelings of voicelessness in my real life community, all the while being very loud in my wallowing.
Women: your klout score, your facebook friends, your inbox, your friends, your popularity, your children's behavior, your home, your well-likedness DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. Your Father who has called you a daughter has defined you.
In the past few weeks, I've passed over opportunities to speak life. I've stood beside my husband willing him to say just the right thing or do just the right thing instead of asking the Lord to make me who He wants me to be. I've spent time with friends and let my own frustrations and pain eek out more in conversation than I care to recall. I've snapped at my kiddos. I've been frustrated with people online asking too much of me when I've been the one failing to speak life for my family and set boundaries. I've let the weight of my own burdens drown out the sound of my lost neighbors around me. Ladies: God has only given us voices so that we can bless Him. If like me, you've believed the lie that YOU deserve to be heard, honored, and encouraged - we have probably lost our desire to be a blessing to others alone.
In the past few weeks, I have talked way more about the Lord than I have actually listened to the Lord. I have not gotten quiet and my countenance has not been gentle. You know the whole "two ears, one mouth" thing? I have spoken way too much and listened way too little. I have spent less time soaking in God's word than I have spent conjecturing about it with my own feeble words.
Gals: We have to be in constant relationship with the Lord to be about the Lord.
There is no way around it.
I share all of this for two reasons.
GRACE and HOPE.
I have such strong desires for this generation of women. I think (if things do not change) we will look back in ten years and see the things of this world that have decayed and rotted and we will know we forsook the eternal things that God called us to for the things that burned.
Beautiful homes, esteem online, a perfect wardrobe, a klout score, a pretty blog, the nicest cars, intricate pinteresty meals, etsy shops, online sponsors.
These are not eternal things. And I so desire for ME, for YOU, for US - to walk in daily grace and repentance and get it right the first time. Maybe not every day or every hour, but for us to look back on this season of our lives as a whole and know that by God's grace - we did what He called us to do.
I'm hoping in Him today, since He is the expert.
And I'm walking this road with you all.