Writers-Doubt and Self-Doubt

Have you ever been told you can’t do something? Have you ever been told you can’t go somewhere? Have you ever been told you’re not good enough? If you’ve lived just a few years on this planet, you’ve been told all of these. Now, there are some things we should be told not to do especially when we’re young. We shouldn’t cross the street when cars are coming. We shouldn’t touch a hot stove. We shouldn’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater. Those aren’t the kind of things though that I’m talking about today. I’m talking about a young girl revealing a dream to become an astronaut and being told she can’t do it. I’m talking about a teenager wanting to become an engineer and being told she wasn’t good enough. I’m talking about a woman wanting to become a published author and being told she was too old. And I’m talking about all those rejections turning into self-doubt.

Rejection isn’t easy. It can be hard to have our dreams crushed by those we love or by those whose respect we want. It can leach into our minds and make us think we’re incapable of doing anything. It can even make us think our presence isn’t welcome if it gets bad enough. So, self-doubt and its twin insecurity can do some real damage to our psyches.

Since rejection is part of life as a writer, I wasn’t surprised to read that many writers are prone to self-doubt and feeling like frauds. Even writers who are well-established like Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Flannery O’Connor, Franz Kafka, and Stephen Pressfield. I especially liked what Stephen King had to say in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m afraid of failing at whatever story I’m writing–that it won’t come up for me, or that I won’t be able to finish it.” I also liked what Stephen Pressfield had to say. “The more scared we are about our calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

With all of that, I acknowledge that writers-doubt, or self-doubt exists and that people whose names we all know suffer from it. But, is there anything we can do about self-doubt? I don’t have much original advice. Every time I think I’ve defeated self-doubt as a writer or as a person, it has come roaring back and makes me think this world would be a better place without me or without my meager contributions. It’s hard to keep going when you think no one notices, to write your words and to write your stories down. It also makes me want to shut my heart down and not care so much about my writing, about all of it. Because, I realized something the other day. I have very deep-rooted doubts and insecurities about myself as a human being. How did I figure this out? Let me be honest and admit I already knew it to a certain extent. But, I was reading a fiction book, and it got to the point where one of the main characters was having to work through her doubts and insecurities. Of course, the specific circumstances in the book were much different, but when she said she didn’t think she was making a contribution, I said, “Oh my goodness. That’s exactly how I feel right now.” It was a light bulb moment. Other people can have deep-rooted things going on in their psyches that no one else knows about. It was a freeing moment, and I knew what I needed to work on not just with my writing, but with myself too.

It comes back to that not so original advice about writers-doubt which I believe can also apply to self-doubt. First, it’s always going to be there. Like I said before, there are moments it will be gone, but it will always come back. Second, for the writing portion, we need to give ourselves permission to write garbage. We tend to think no one ever fails at writing because no one ever sees the failures. They only see the successes. It’s the same way with real life. How many of us put our failures out there for everyone to see? Not many, I would think. So, when we fail or have our doubts, we think it’s just us. I know I do, and I live with it inside my head. When I fail at writing, when I fail at my faith, when I fail at friendship, when I fail at everything, it’s always just me. That’s why I think the final thing is so important. We need to believe in a truth we can’t see, or have faith. For me, that has a religious connotation because I’m a Christian, but it can stand by itself without the religious component. We need to have faith in our writing and in ourselves. It takes incredible mental strength to do that by ourselves though which is why I want to add this one thing. Find people who believe in you. People who are willing to say they believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself, when you can’t feel it yourself. People who will be your cheerleaders when your insecurities plague you and when you feel like you’re not doing very much. That’s why community is important even though we don’t like to admit it. It’s the way we get strength to keep writing and to go on.

I think we all want that strength. We want to be able to overcome the garbage in our heads from our pasts, to move forward, and to begin healing. With that being said, I want to end this with a quote so we can know it’s all right to care about our writing and about ourselves. From Morgan Snyder, “Whatever you do, don’t shut your heart down. Keep it open. It’s going to be needed.”

Have a great day, everyone!

Characters for My NaNo Novel

Last week, I spoke a little of the main protagonist of my novel. I want to speak more this week of how this character and the other characters around her came to be a part of the story I’m writing this month. For a long time, I’ve wanted to write a story about someone who has overcome difficulties from their past, who is now successful, but who still has lessons to learn from the difficulties. I wanted her to have a career and surround her with a loving family and most of all, to have her overcome obstacles.

This character has been growing in my mind for the last couple of years, but I knew I needed a story to go with her. That story has finally come together this year, and it is the story I’m writing now. I’ve heard it said that some authors write characters who are similar to them in personality and who are able to do the things they’re not. I want to say this particular character is that way for me, but I won’t know for sure until I get further into my writing and into the story.

As I thought about this character and this story, I knew there would need to be additional characters. The first ones I thought of were the members of her family–her husband and her children. I made her husband part of her back story so he would be intimately familiar with her trauma.  I also had her husband love her unconditionally though she would have times of doubting that love because of the trauma she had endured–her obstacles to overcome.

Finally, as I was doing my preliminary thinking about my main character, I wanted her to be a woman of faith and have her faith be important to her. But, I also wanted her to defy stereotypes and be a regular person too. She has a career though she is a pastor’s wife. She expresses emotion and doesn’t do everything that is “expected” of her. She says cuss words and goes into places a regular person of faith wouldn’t go. (because of her reporting career) She is her own person and has the full support of her husband to be so.

So, everything about my main character, her family, and the story itself was firmed up in my head before I began writing. But, as I started writing, I knew I would need more characters. Other writers, I’m sure, would have had all their characters fully fleshed out in the planning stages. I have learned over the years though that I am not other writers. I am my own writer which means I have introduced these other characters in my own way. I have enjoyed this process of finding out what I need through writing it. The police detective and the FBI agents who will be important later on. My main character’s editor. Her sources. Her other friends who are also defying stereotypes. They will all make my story the story it needs to be so I’m looking forward to writing their stories too. I might stop my writing at points to write back story and more details in my evolving outline. But, for the most part, I plan to see where my characters take me as I write this first draft during NaNoWrimo.

I hope you have enjoyed my process of thinking about and forming the characters for my novel. Feel free to share your own process in the comments.

Have a great day, everyone!

Remembering God

Earlier this year, I blogged through the devotional 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. Remember? I took each devotion and wrote about how it impacted me–hot mess and all. In the process, I learned about bravery and how being brave has impacted my life even when I haven’t felt brave. I also figured out that being brave didn’t necessarily look like what I thought it looked like. During this time, Ms. Downs became a favorite author. God used her words to touch my life. Why am I bringing this up now? She has a new book coming out tomorrow entitled Remember God which I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing. I know God will use her words to impact my life just as He used her words from her previous book. In the meantime, I wanted to share what remembering God looked like for me.

When I typed “remembering God” and “remember God” into the You Version search engine, it came back with many results like I expected. Scripture does a good job of showing where God calls us to remember Him and where humans call on God to remember them. It’s like a lot of things in life. Sometimes, we forget about God’s goodness and need to be reminded. God doesn’t forget though, and I think that might be why we are called on so often in Scripture to remember Him. Here are some examples. From Psalm 78:35, “They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.” God spoke of remembering Israel in Leviticus 26:42. “I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.” The thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him. Luke 23:42 says, “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'”

There are also many instances in Scripture where people asked God to remember them or thanked God for remembering other believers. Nehemiah 5:19 says, “Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.” Also, in Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” I especially like Ephesians 1:15-16 because I’ve personally used these verses to tell people I’m thankful for them. “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

With all the references to remembering in Scripture, why do we forget God and all He has done for us? I’m not sure, but I think one of the reasons might be because of the fall. Satan doesn’t want us to remember what God has done for us because his job at getting us to believe his lies would be more difficult, and he wants things to be as easy as possible. Doesn’t evil usually work that way?

I also think we let the busyness of our days crowd God out. God is waiting for us to remember, to want to talk to Him, to have a relationship with Him, and sometimes, we just forget He is there.

Finally, we have mistaken impressions of how we need to be when we approach God. Everything needs to be perfect, and we think we need to display the Christian joy everyone keeps talking about. No sadness, and no pain allowed. But, God wants us to come to Him as we are. He wants us to remember Him as we are so He can work in our lives and in our hearts. Then, we can share about His love with a world who desperately needs it.

As I end this post, I want to remind all of us how important it is to remember God and how He is a part of our stories. And, we don’t need to just remember Him. We need to share our stories and how God is important in each of them. Your story might not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but it is just as necessary to God and His Kingdom as those stories that have a larger reach. Thankful for the chance to share my stories in this space!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

What Comes Next – Faith

One more week. One more week until my older son is back at his college and my younger son starts classes at his college in our community. We’ve been enjoying the last days of summer, but I’ve also been setting up a schedule of sorts. There are things I want to accomplish in this next stage of life, but if I don’t know when I’m going to do them, they will have a tendency not to get done. One of those things is the way I practice my faith.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been practicing my faith. I pray. I talk to God during the day. I read my Bible. I go to church and participate in the life of my faith community. But, there are things I can do differently with my faith now that I will have more time during the day. I’m actually looking forward to making some changes. I can’t see anything wrong with more time with God. Can you?

One of the things I’m planning to do is be more consistent with a focused prayer time where I’m sitting still with my Lord and Savior. I’m good at praying on the run. I’m consistent with praying at meal-time. I’ve even tried praying with someone in the moment when they ask for prayer. But, my focused prayer time has been hit or miss. Why, I ask myself? This is where it’s time for confession. Laziness, busyness, letting a task dominate the relationship, fatigue, and just plain sin. All of them interfere with staying focused on God and the things He wants to tell me. I want to be better with that going forward so I’m going to plan for it. Plan for my focused prayer times with God as I begin my days, I’m looking forward to hearing what He wants to tell me and growing in my faith in this next phase.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is having more time to serve others. I’m not talking about just at church either though having flexibility there will be nice. No, I’m talking about getting the chance to know my neighbors and showing them the love of Jesus. I’m talking about going out into my community and doing things outside of my comfort zone. I’m talking about demonstrating what it says in John 15:12-13. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Or how about in I Peter 4:8? “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” And, finally, from I John 4:7. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” It’s all about love, isn’t it, as we serve, and that is why I’m looking forward to the chance to widen my circle.

Finally, I’m excited about the chance to learn more about my faith through the reading and studying I plan to do. I want to have different topics to write about for this blog and to share what I learn. This next season will be different for all the parts of my life including my faith, and I want to reflect that in what I say and do.

Praying for us all to have the chance to be still before our Lord and Savior today and to know His best for us! God bless you!

The World

Today’s topic wasn’t just random. I believe God planned it down to the littlest detail. Why? Because, in less than twenty-four hours, I will be on a plane to Honduras with a missions team from my church. This trip has been a long time coming. From the time I first expressed interest back in February, getting to go on this trip has been a God thing, pure and simple. There’s no way I would have been able to go on my own. Not from a one-income homeschooling family. But, God worked it out so I know it’s a part of His purpose for my life.

This will be my first time going abroad to do missions work, but I did spend a summer in Maryland when I was a college student. I also took a few one-week mission trips, but it’s the summer trip that has been in my thoughts in recent days. My partner and I worked in the inner-city doing whatever was needed, but mainly, we conducted Backyard Bible Clubs. In my mind’s eye, I see the faces of those children like it was yesterday. They were so excited we had come to where they lived. It was hard work. A lot of times, I was out of my comfort zone, but my youthful self dreamed of changing the world for Jesus. Many times, after that summer, I dreamed of becoming a career missionary.

But, real life intervened, and it’s now thirty-two years later. I wonder, where did that youthful enthusiasm and energy go? What happened to reaching the world for Christ? Oh, I did my best to change my own small corner of the world. I taught school. I married and had my own children. I became their teacher when they were young. I poured into my family. I wonder how much I really changed though. Advocates in the homeschooling community would say I changed a lot for my family, but what did I really do? I’m still working all that out.

We were practicing our faith when our sons were young. Then, we spent time out of the church in their middle years. I’ve written about this before. I became a cynic about the church and the community it’s supposed to offer because of all the bad I had seen. I longed for it still though because God had planted the desire in my heart. Cynicism and longing combined in my heart to make a potent soup.

As I’ve written though, my life has changed over the past six years. Love has come to the forefront, and I have a better understanding of what my faith means. I talk to God often, and He comforts me when the world lets me down. I even have a community that puts up with my weirdness, :-), and that is something, to be sure. I thank God for it every day.

Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking about and planning for what comes next after my children were done with high school. I’ve chronicled many of my thoughts and feelings in this blog. As you know, this is the year. My younger son will start college in the fall. God has been leading me down this writing path. I know that for sure. But, how and in what capacity, I don’t know. I also don’t know what I will do with the time I used to use for homeschooling. And except for my writing, I’m not sure of the path God is leading me on to serve Him. Thinking of that day in August when both of my children will be in college is a blur right now. I don’t know how my days will go or what will be in them.

I think it’s why God led me to this trip. A week away doing work for Him with no distractions, it’s what I need. God will meet me there. The uncertainty and blurriness will disappear, and my life will be changed!

Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

PS: I will complete this series on 100 Days to Brave when I return. See you on the flip side!

Perseverance

It might seem funny that I’m writing about perseverance today when I’ve felt like I’ve just been hanging on by a thread for the last few weeks. If perseverance really does build character like it says in Romans 5:3-5, I must have a lot of it by now. 🙂 No, just kidding. I don’t want to brag on myself when I haven’t done the work.

First, though, I want to quote the verses so you’ll know what God says about it. From Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” I don’t know many of us who glory in our sufferings, at least not in the middle of them. Pain is not pleasant for any of us. But, we suffer while we’re in this life sometimes even more than we did before we became believers. And that begs the question–if we suffer more and we don’t see other Christians suffer to know it is normal, why do we become believers? Why is Jesus so important to so many of us?

I believe it is because we can see the possibilities of a limitless love. We can see the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and think that maybe, maybe, we can let Him in our lives to change our story. We can have limitless love in our lives despite the pain because of Who we’ve invited into our lives. Who wouldn’t want limitless love? Who wouldn’t want the grace and mercy Jesus promises to each of us?

That’s why perseverance matters even when we’re hanging on by a thread like I am today. God has put each of these devotions from 100 Days to Brave in my path when I’ve needed them. The Scripture and the songs from the author have been just what I’ve needed for each step of this journey to becoming brave. Today’s song is no different. It’s called Golden Thread, and it’s by Joy Williams. It’s reminded me there might be some gold on the end of that fraying thread which is about to break, and I just might want to reinforce it to see what God has planned next. Let me quote the lyrics so you can see.

Golden Thread by Joy Williams

I’m holding on for dear life, it’s not looking good
Is it now, is it now?
It’s all up in the air and never coming down
Coming down, is it now?

Spinning through my fingers, watch it go
Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Don’t sew it off; it’s lovely tearing at the seams
It’s what it is
It’s you and me
I’m standing in the in-between of what I was and what I need

Slipping through my fingers, watch it go
Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Please don’t watch me, please don’t watch me cry
Oh I don’t wanna be this way
It’s harder than it looks, so please don’t watch me cry
And admit that I’m frayed

Out of my hands, out of my hands
All over again
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread
Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling
I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread

Slipping through my fingers, watch it go

I especially liked the line, “Please don’t watch me cry.” I know people are uncomfortable watching people cry, and I’m pretty sure the reverse is also true. No one wants to admit they’re frayed. That’s why they want to appear strong even if they’re not. It is my belief though that perseverance can involve crying and hurting and admitting you’re in pain. It’s the best way for God to heal the hurt. And I don’t mean healing where no one knows your pain. I mean healing where we all know it’s okay with God if we are just strong enough.
Yes, that’s the other song which has touched me today, and I want to finish my post with quoting the chorus of Strong Enough by Matthew West.
Strong Enough by Matthew West
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
God, please help all of us, and me especially, to not give up or quit, and help us all to persevere! In Your Son’s amazing Name, Amen!

Faith

There are some basic words in Christianity that can make us think we have it all covered and have nothing else to learn about a certain topic. Faith is one of those words. When I first saw that this was the topic of today’s devotion, I wasn’t sure I could think of anything to write I hadn’t already written, but, as usual, I was wrong. 🙂

One of the verses I first memorized was about faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” There have been times I’ve looked at that verse and said to myself, ‘Faith, yeah, confident, assured, yeah. Check, check. Ok, let’s get to the more important stuff.’ But, God doesn’t mean for us to brush faith off so quickly.

So, what does it really mean to have faith? Here is the dictionary definition. Faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” There’s also a definition related to religion. Faith is a “strong belief in God or in the doctrine of a religion based on spiritual application rather than proof.” Sounds like the dictionary has it covered. But, what does it mean on a personal level to the Christian who wants to increase their faith? Let’s look at what the author of the devotional says. “Faith is being sure. And convinced.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) Sounds similar to the dictionary? It should be quite clear what it means to have faith.

But, we all have doubts and struggles at times. At least, I do. When things are going well, it’s easy for me to have faith. I can see God’s blessings all throughout my life, and I don’t have a problem talking about them. I equated blessings with faith, and as long as I could see the blessings, faith was not a problem.

Of course, blessings are not always present. In fact, bad times come more often than not. What happens to faith then? This is where the struggle is for me. My mind and my heart struggle to hold onto God’s presence when I can’t readily see Him in my life. The devotional I’m reading had new thoughts about how to get more faith. (Don’t ever think you can’t learn anything new about a topic.) I had always thought faith was just there. You either had it, or you didn’t. There were no levels of faith or no way to get anymore if you lacked it. No, that’s not what faith is at all. We can pray to God for more faith when our faith is lacking. Wow! That thought had never crossed my mind, but I can see the truth in it. God will fill us with faith if we just ask. Faith in Him, in His goodness, and in His promises.

We can use the assurance we get from those prayers to fight off the lies of Satan who is interested in impeding what we do for God as much as possible. It’s not easy, and it won’t be easy. Sometimes, I think I’m fighting my doubts about God and His promises all of the time. But, Jesus died on the cross for me. He suffered an agonizing death so I could have the choice of believing in this big and wonderful God of mine. The least I can do for Him is be willing to fight the battle for faith when Satan shoots his arrows of doubt and anguish at me. And I will fight it by praying for my faith cup to be filled by my Lord and Savior. May we all fight that battle well!

Praying God’s blessings for you all today!

 

The Wispy Tendrils of Faith

I’ve been a Christian since I was a teenager–almost forty years, actually, and my faith has seemed to be different in every season of my life. From rock-solid faith to holding on by the barest thread, I have done my best to live according to this faith I say I hold.

Earlier in my life, living as a Christian meant saying the right words, doing the right things, and always putting up a front at church. If someone asked you how you were, the answer was always great. Most people I knew seemed to measure their faith by how well someone was doing–financially, socially, emotionally, mentally, or physically. The ones who were doing the best always claimed to be blessed by God which left me wondering what happened to those who didn’t appear to be so blessed.

Now that I’m in my fifties and have learned a lot of life lessons, I know this isn’t true. God blesses all of His children whether they are rich or poor, and His blessings are not just material ones. Being like Jesus is more complicated than you might think, and people in the church who you respect can and will let you down. I also understand better what Jesus said in John 16:33. “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have over come the world.”

I understand now that I will have trouble while I am here. It’s a fact. I’ve had plenty of trouble during my life so why should that change? And because of this, I shouldn’t try to do anything of worldly significance. Rather, I should be doing things that will have eternal significance because, won’t I be in heaven for eternity?

Where does that leave my faith, and what does today’s title mean? I thought you might ask. 🙂 Holding on to faith and trust is so hard these days. I was thinking about this yesterday and realized that the wispy tendrils that come from airplanes reminded me of my faith. You can see them just briefly as an airplane passes, and it’s almost like you can reach out and grab them before they disappear. That’s how I’ve felt like with my faith over the past few months. With all the bad things that have happened and no let-up in sight, I have grabbed on to whatever wisps of strength and encouragement God has sent me. More often than not, I can’t see them, and the parts of me that hurt hold onto the fragments of faith I still have. This helped me think of today’s title which led to this verse from Scripture.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

I’ve always liked this verse, but it means more to me now. It’s confidence in what is to come, not in what is happening now, and it’s assurance in God’s sovereign nature when we can’t see it. God gives us plenty of things we can see, but He wants us to trust Him when we can’t see what He gives us. That, in my opinion, is true faith.

So, I will keep walking; I will keep giving; and I will keep holding on to the wispy tendrils of my faith as God molds my character into the person He wants me to be! Thank you, Jesus!

Praying God’s blessings on all of you today!

 

Inspirational Quotes and What They Mean to Me

Facebook memories can be a funny thing. They can also be one of the things to inspire a blog post as they have this morning. I was looking over my memories earlier and saw that on this date, four years ago, I published a post about writing quotes, https://writewhatyouknowdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/writing-quote-thursday/. I looked over the post and smiled. It was a fond memory of where I was as a writer four years ago and how far I’ve come since then.

Learning never stops though, and between this Facebook memory and the challenge issued by the writing blog, Positive Writer, http://positivewriter.com/7-inspirational-quotes-that-could-change-your-life/, I thought I would do another quote post today and talk about different quotes and what they mean to me.

I’ve been working on myself this year and how my faith in God brings me closer to the person He wants me to be. It’s a struggle. All of us come to Him with baggage. Heck, all of us have baggage, period. One of my struggles is believing in myself so the quotes I have chosen today reflect this struggle and how far I’ve come. They were all encouraging to me in different ways. Here is the first one.

“We are all unique, and have our own special place in the puzzle of the universe.” – Rod Williams

This reminded me of Psalm 139 which has become my Scripture reading of choice when my confidence lags and my insecurity reigns.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

When I think about this quote along with what I’ve had to overcome with my faith, I don’t feel as insignificant to God as I felt on Sunday when my church was doing a ground breaking ceremony. People tell me that I mean a lot to my church, but sometimes I just don’t see it. I know I mean everything to God though, and that is what counts the most.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human experiment.” – E. E. Cummings

I feel like this is what I’ve done with my blogs over the past four years. I’ve published words I wouldn’t ever say out loud, except maybe in my pastor’s office. 🙂 I’m not successful like the world defines success, but I know God has a purpose in the words I share, and that is the success that means the most.

“Always be yourself, and have faith in yourself.” – Bruce Lee

This is so plain it shouldn’t have to be spelled out, but I’ve had to work on it anyway. I’m the person God made me to be, and He doesn’t want me to change though I have tried.

“You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh

This is my favorite of these quotes. It teaches me to reach beyond my thoughts and feelings about myself and live the way God wants me to. God gave us thoughts and feelings, yes, and we are to express them honestly. But, He also wants us to have our value rooted in Him and no one else.

And finally, the last quote.

“We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.” – Tobias Wolff

For awhile, I forgot how to persist. I’ve been so busy trying to make myself into the person I thought God wanted me to be that I lost track of who I actually was. No more though. My words are who I am and writing them down is my best way of honoring my God-given gifts and being true to myself and the person God is growing me to be.

Hope everyone has a great day!

 

Inspirational Quotes and What They Mean to Me

Cross-posted from my Thriving in Grace blog.

 

Facebook memories can be a funny thing. They can also be one of the things to inspire a blog post as they have this morning. I was looking over my memories earlier and saw that on this date, four years ago, I published a post about writing quotes, https://writewhatyouknowdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/writing-quote-thursday/. I looked over the post and smiled. It was a fond memory of where I was as a writer four years ago and how far I’ve come since then.

Learning never stops though, and between this Facebook memory and the challenge issued by the writing blog, Positive Writer, http://positivewriter.com/7-inspirational-quotes-that-could-change-your-life/, I thought I would do another quote post today and talk about different quotes and what they mean to me.

I’ve been working on myself this year and how my faith in God brings me closer to the person He wants me to be. It’s a struggle. All of us come to Him with baggage. Heck, all of us have baggage, period. One of my struggles is believing in myself so the quotes I have chosen today reflect this struggle and how far I’ve come. They were all encouraging to me in different ways. Here is the first one.

“We are all unique, and have our own special place in the puzzle of the universe.” – Rod Williams

This reminded me of Psalm 139 which has become my Scripture reading of choice when my confidence lags and my insecurity reigns.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

When I think about this quote along with what I’ve had to overcome with my faith, I don’t feel as insignificant to God as I felt on Sunday when my church was doing a ground breaking ceremony. People tell me that I mean a lot to my church, but sometimes I just don’t see it. I know I mean everything to God though, and that is what counts the most.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human experiment.” – E. E. Cummings

I feel like this is what I’ve done with my blogs over the past four years. I’ve published words I wouldn’t ever say out loud, except maybe in my pastor’s office. 🙂 I’m not successful like the world defines success, but I know God has a purpose in the words I share, and that is the success that means the most.

“Always be yourself, and have faith in yourself.” – Bruce Lee

This is so plain it shouldn’t have to be spelled out, but I’ve had to work on it anyway. I’m the person God made me to be, and He doesn’t want me to change though I have tried.

“You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh

This is my favorite of these quotes. It teaches me to reach beyond my thoughts and feelings about myself and live the way God wants me to. God gave us thoughts and feelings, yes, and we are to express them honestly. But, He also wants us to have our value rooted in Him and no one else.

And finally, the last quote.

“We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.” – Tobias Wolff

For awhile, I forgot how to persist. I’ve been so busy trying to make myself into the person I thought God wanted me to be that I lost track of who I actually was. No more though. My words are who I am and writing them down is my best way of honoring my God-given gifts and being true to myself and the person God is growing me to be.

Hope everyone has a great day!