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.
I read a devotion by Shauna Niequist today. In it, she referred to how the word ‘someday’ can be seductive…
We can tell ourselves that someday we will get in shape, someday we will spend quality time with the kids, someday we will seek out our dream job, someday we will do ‘XYZ’.
Unfortunately, all too often, our ‘someday’ turns into never.
I didn’t want to write this post today. I wrote one yesterday and thought to myself, ‘eh, that’s good enough for now.’ When I read Shauna’s words, I knew I needed to put pen to paper (or words on a screen).
See, I’ve been wanting to do this writer thing for a while. And yes, I can technically call myself a writer because, well, I write…but I want to step up my game.
Here are all of the things I have ‘in the works’ right now that should be helping me up my game:
I am enrolled in an online writing class, with an author/teacher who is an incredible writer.
I am involved in several Facebook groups for writers.
I have multiple writing books on my bookshelves.
I have the encouragement of my kiddos and those closest to me.
While this is not an exhaustive list — it holds the most important list items.
And yet, I still struggle to make this appointment with my laptop to write and bleed words…
What about you? What are you putting off for ‘someday’? How can I encourage you to keep your appointment with whatever your goal is? Let’s do this today…and let’s do it together.
Today, I am linking up at Five Minute Friday. Every Friday, a community of writers and bloggers come together to write for five solid minutes on a prompt. No overthinking, no editing, no worrying about grammar — just write…
Today’s prompt is: FUTURE
Most days, when I think about the future, my breathing gets more rapid and shallower. My heart beats a little faster, and my brain goes into overdrive.
I begin to worry — have I prepared my kiddos well-enough for all that they will face? Do I have enough funds in reserve for ‘what-ifs’? Am I praying enough? Am I loving enough? Will my example prove to be a good one for these two humans that are more important to me than my own life?
Typically, I don’t stop there.
Recently, I made a decision to go back to school — again. I have my Bachelor’s degree. I also have an MBA. Now, I’m going to get my teaching certificate. Dude…am I crazy? I must be.
I begin thinking about the student loans I already have for my MBA, and I get a little anxious when I think about the possibility of taking out more loans.
How will I help my own kids when they begin their college tours if I’m still paying for my own student loans?
Sigh…you can see where my thoughts go when I think of the future — money…finances…budget…
Why does money cause me so much anxiety and stress? Am I alone in this? Surely not. Surely there are others who stress out about finances too.
I don’t necessarily need or want to be wealthy; I just want to be able to be comfortable without having to worry about meeting the needs of my family.
I am excited for the future of my children. I know they have bright and amazing things ahead of them. They are both so kind and smart.
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?’