I'm starting a group I don't want to lead.
I've been working on Mess to Majesty. In the book, I share stories from my life, my mess, that I have brought to His Majesty. One of those stories is about a season when I was leading a women's ministry in my church. The story focuses on how I let comparison keep me from growing because I was comparing my leadership style and my ideas to other people's leadership style and always finding myself short. I was deferring to someone else's style instead of having the courage to step out and try my own.
As I was writing this story, I realized I was still holding myself back from leading, which is where the introduction comes in -- I'm starting a group I don't want to lead.
That was the story I told a group of ladies about this time last year and for the last year. I want to be in the group and I want a place for community and growth, but I don't want to lead.
The group has done well. We're a group of 10...
I began writing a book as an assignment in my training program. I’ve written books before but this time was different. The first books I wrote were to meet my own needs for my own children. This time I had to choose who to reach and why.
I wanted to write a book that would make an impact. A book that would begin or encourage a transformation for each woman who reads it. Through a process of prayer and planning Mess to Majesty was born.
I have felt like a mess most of my life. Often I have let that keep me from building relationships with people. I’ve also let it keep me from fully trusting God to use me.
Thankfully I learned there are people who love me in my mess. God loves to use my mess to transform me and show off on my behalf. I'm growing in my trust for Him.
As long as I made time for it writing was easy. Until I hired my editor.
I hired an editor who is encouraging me to write better than I ever have. Writing comes easy and I often leave it at...
That might seem like common sense, but would the Lord told it to me last week, it was a freeing revelation.
I was trying to make twenty plus quarts of salsa, edit my book, and all the normal responsibilities of life. I was frustrated trying to figure out how to get it all done.
The idea of needing a container or a space for everything made perfect sense. I hope the idea helps you, too.
Tasks have at least three containers; time, energy, and focus.
How much time do you need and when are you going to take that time? I neglected to accurately figure out how much time the salsa would take. Editing, too. This made my week too full. The time containers were full. Overfull.
How much energy does a task take? Trying to but a high energy task at the end of a long day is going to be hard and likely frustrating, especially if you didn’t think about the energy it will take.
What I feel is bad. I don’t know what to do with it. I should be able to stop feeling this way because these feelings aren’t helpful.
Our other senses give us valuable information about our physical world, emotions give us valuable feedback about our relationships - with God, yourself and others. We would never wish to stop seeing or hearing, why do we wish to stop feeling?
Because we don't know how to hear the messages they have for us.
How does your body feel? How are you breathing? Where is there peace? Where is there stress? Where is it coming from?
If you want help you can use a list of emotions to get you started. Name as many emotions and reasons for them as you can.
Once you know where the emotions are coming from and what they are called you can ask what the emotions are trying to tell you. Is there someone you need to...
I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve asked- yelled, this to myself. So miserable and so desperate to not feel that way.
Why do I feel I’m never enough?
I absorbed the feeling from my childhood of not being good enough. No one told me I wasn’t good enough, but I felt it all the time.
I decided results fell into two categories, Perfect and Failure. I also picked up the lie that I was my behavior. Therefore I fell into those two categories as well.
I’ve recently seen that Perfect was never defined. If it wasn’t defined I could never know if I achieved it. Therefore I was always a failure. Always.
Excellence was held up as the standard but it was code for Perfect. There was also a strange sense of being no learning curve. I thought I was just supposed to be able to do something and of course, do it perfectly.
Totally unattainable, totally below the...
I am such a mess! Always! Why can’t I get it together? How can God use me when I’m such a huge failure?
This was my heart cry for so many years. I felt so messed up. So convinced I was broken and no one could fix me. Not even God. If He could fix me I was somehow messing up the process so He couldn’t.
I struggled to stretch my insecure, introverted self to go to a women’s retreat with the church. Other women had so much fun and got so much out of them.
The setting was beautiful. The lodge was in the mountains of Alaska, away from the normal busyness of life. Log walls and candles made the chapel so peaceful. Mealtime was in a stunning log lodge with beautifully set tables. I soaked up the worship and the teaching.
I felt left out and so out of place the rest of the time; like a kid who has no one to sit with in the lunchroom. The women were nice, they were glad I was there. I was too, and I wasn’t.
I braved sharing my struggle with one of...
They are overwhelming for a number of reasons.
I'm putting this out there at the risk of you all thinking I'm crazy. I feel it was an idea from God. It was helpful to me when I first used it and again when I reviewed it.
The tool is having a conversation with your emotions in a place of prayer. I think it will be Holy Spirit speaking. Using your imagination opens your mind to hear things you might not otherwise.
My journal, in a place of prayer, I was talking to disappointment. I see this is a very familiar emotion for me now that I've learned to name them.
Me: Disappointment, why are you in my life?
Disappointment: I come when things don't go as expected and when needs are not met.
M: So when did you first come?
D: You've always known...
Have you ever shared something you were struggling with and felt worse instead of better?
I have. I would share with someone how I was struggling, whether it was with my own self-image, or trying to live the good Christian life, whatever it was. Often the answer was something along the lines of, "just receive God's love".
I wanted to scream or slap them. I wanted to scream, "If I knew how to do that, don't you think I'd be doing it already?" (maybe part of that was it took being pretty desperate for me to ask for help, but that's another topic)
I didn't know how to say they made it worse. It seemed so incredibly obvious that I should just know how to receive God's love. If I wasn't doing it then it had to be because I wasn't trying hard enough, I wasn't being sincere, I wasn't letting God love me. Those things that just weren't helpful at all!
They added more condemnation, shame, and confirmation of the deeply rooted belief I had that I was somehow uniquely...