Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I would go one step further to say that to be a true disciple of Christ in a world that wants anything BUT that, is an incredible accomplishment.
I was recently given an advance reader copy of “Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose” by Carey Scott. I had read her first book “Untangled” and knew I needed to read this, her second, book.
Upon initial hearing, the word ‘uncommon’ doesn’t seem like an adjective I would like used with my name. However, after exploring Carey Scott’s perspective, I believe being called ‘uncommon’ would be a high honor.
Carey offers real world, practical advice for those of us struggling with how to walk out our faith in a world which would like nothing more than to stifle it.
Each chapter highlights an ‘Uncommon’ virtue such as courage, gratitude, love, prayer, and more.
In the chapter covering Uncommon Courage, Carey gives us Esther as a biblical example. Carey demonstrates how Esther’s unwavering courage was uncommon for the time and how God rewarded this.
In the chapter covering Uncommon Leadership, Carey offers Deborah as a biblical example. Deborah’s leadership was certainly uncommon for the time. There had not been a woman in a leadership position before now. She was respected and revered. And this was uncommon.
Carey not only gives us biblical examples of these uncommon virtues, she also grants us a peek into her life. She relates to us, her readers, situations and circumstances in her own life which have required the uncommon virtues she writes about.
From the wisdom Carey Scott offers here, I know this will be a book I refer back to in the future while continuing my walk with Christ. I hope you find this resource as encouraging and helpful as I have.
I received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
As a church, we have been going through the Believe book. This week, we covered the topic of patience.
Aaaahhhhh yes…patience…we all want more of it, but we don’t want to go through the painful process of obtaining it. I would love to be more patient…with myself, with my kids, with the person driving 10 miles under the speed limit. But I don’t want to have to work through it.
Wouldn’t you know it, today is the day (one of many) that I COMPLETELY blew up on my daughter. Yep, all you other mothers out there better just withdraw your names for the Mother of the Year award…it’s totally coming my way this year.
For those of you who know my daughter, she truly is delightful. She is kind and has a huge heart. She is funny and loves to do things to make me laugh. She has such a heart for animals and the oppressed.
She is also a ‘tween.’
So, I have been under a tremendous amount of pressure. I have writing deadlines to meet — I really do want to be a writer one day — and the best way to do that is to get my writing out there.
I also stepped into a full-time teaching position about 4 weeks ago, which, the only accurate way to describe it is to say it’s like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant.
I’m also in the final steps of a divorce. And it’s yucky. We’ve been separated for a while now, but it doesn’t stop the hurt.
Some people in my life know of these things and some do not. And when people ask me, “How are you doing?” my natural-gut-instinct is to plaster on a smile and say, “I’m great.”
But let me let all of my readers in on a little secret…ssshhhhh…
I’m not great.
I’m not good.
I’m not even fine, really.
I’m hurting. I’m hurting from a marriage that was built on lies and deceit. And, to be honest, I’m having a tremendously difficult time forgiving; him AND me. Yes, I know that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to just forget about all of the plans you made, the plans you thought the other person was making alongside you.
I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with the actual teaching and the grading and the upset parents. I recently discovered a mistake in how grades were calculated. And in so doing, I upset many parents and students. One email in particular was from a ‘friend.’ I use the air quotes, because I would have thought that I would have been given the benefit of the doubt from this parent. But not at all. Instead I was told just how wrong I am. Awesome. I had to wait almost 48 hours before collecting myself and my thoughts before responding. Otherwise, I KNOW I would have said something I would have regretted.
I’m on the go. All. Of. The. Time. I love watching my kids be involved in sports and activities, but I’m constantly running. And trying to run a household and feed them relatively healthy meals. And work. And write.
I’m so incredibly insecure about my relationships with women, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been listening to Beth Moore while I get ready in the mornings and she has really hit some sensitive topics. I’m in constant competition — with other teachers, with other mothers, with other women, with other writers, with MYSELF — that it does NOTHING healthy for my self-esteem.
All I hear from the negative committee that meets in my head is YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.
Yep. It’s been great being me these days.
The problem, as I see it, is I’m not giving things to God. I’m trying to do everything in my own power. In my own skill. In my own strength.
Guess what? I can’t. And neither can you.
Remember my daughter from earlier in this lengthy post? Well, I’m quite certain that I broke her tonight. I’m pretty confident that her spirit is now completely wrecked. Everything that I’ve had building up inside me exploded out of my mouth and onto her tween heart and spirit.
It’s not her fault, at all. And not to make excuses for myself AT ALL, but she’s always there. She is with me 100% of the time outside of school, and I also have her for two periods at school. And she always stops to see me during her lunch.
I’ve tried calmly and rationally explaining to her that no two people are meant to be together 100% of the time…but that hasn’t gotten through.
I’m guessing my complete meltdown made my point, though.
I’m also guessing that I’m going to have to completely humble myself and apologize and beg for her forgiveness. It’s in my favor that she is kind and has a huge heart.
While this post wasn’t meant to be completely about my daughter, I wanted to show you all how lovely she truly is.
What was the point of all of this?
For me to process some things and get some stuff off of my chest. Maybe someone else out there is going through some of the same junk.
Also, when you ask someone how they’re doing, and you know some of the backstory, you might just put your arm around them and say, ‘how are you REALLY doing?’
The kids and I recently had our spring break from school. We didn’t really DO much, but we did spend time together, which is always enjoyable.
While we were on spring break, the kids and I traveled south of Indy for a little mini-getaway. While driving, we passed a church.
The kids were happily engaged in their devices, which I don’t typically allow, because being in the vehicle is a great time to get them to talk to me. I have them captive 🙂 I made an exception for this trip, because I felt like we all needed a little time to ‘plug in’ and ‘zone out’.
I was lost in my thoughts — about school, about finances, about summer — when my gaze traveled to a church sign. It read, “Where God guides, He provides.”
So simple, yet so profound. And it’s not even the first time I’ve heard or seen the phrase.
But for some reason, it struck a chord in me just then. It was just what I needed to bring me back to reality.
This led me to think of another phrase, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”
Friends, I am struggling these days with feeling ‘qualified’ to do anything God asks me to do.
I have been dealing with so much on my plate these days and I’m struggling to know what is the right thing to do; with knowing where God is leading and guiding me. I just have to have faith that God is in control. I need to be reminded of my life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
No matter how prepared I think I am for anything, nothing comes to me without first going through the loving hands of God.
Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I can rest in this promise. Because I love God, I know that He will work everything out for good.
Does that mean I will only see good in my life? No.
But it does mean that, despite how I may feel about things, He will work it out for my good. It may not be comfortable. It may stretch me beyond what I feel I could be stretched, but it will be for my good in the end.
So, let’s think of it like this — He knows all of my days, my yesterdays, my today, and my tomorrows. He will take all of those and, despite the messes I make, turn them into a message. A good message. I only need to rest and trust.
“If I told you my story, you would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go.
And if I told you my story, you would hear Love that never gave up.
And If I told you my story, you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine.
If I should speak, then let it be of the grace that is greater than all my sin.
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins.
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him.
This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.”
~~ “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave ~~
My name is Michelle Nehrig and this is my story. I pray that you read these words and read of Him.
I came to Christ in August 2004. On December 29, 2004, my beautiful daughter was conceived. She was conceived out of wedlock, and, to many in the church, she was born in sin. But she was just what God used to reach me. In many ways, I was not prepared to be a single mother. In many other, more amazing ways, ways I knew nothing of at the time, God knew exactly what He was doing.
From the instant her father and I came together, I had a very strong suspicion that I was pregnant. I wouldn’t take an OTC pregnancy test until March of 2005 to have my suspicions confirmed. It was during that period of time that we buried my great-grandmother. I was not close to her growing up, as she lived in Minnesota, and we were in Indiana. But I firmly believe that it was because of her prayers that I’m here to write this story out for you today. I was her eldest great-grandchild, so I read at her funeral in Minnesota.