Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful!



I've read quite a few books lately, but when I saw the opportunity to review this one, I jumped on it!

Look at the book cover (next pic)! And just the title alone was enough for me to want to read it.

"Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful"did not disappoint.

There were several A-HA moments!

One was in chapter 4, "To Live Weird With (Not For) God." In this chapter Laurie is going through a particularly difficult season with her daughter and has to make some heart wrenching choices.

One of her "quirks" is to be a perfectionist and a do-er. But in her moment of crying out to God, He whispers, "I want to work with you, not instead of you, in prayer." Instead of please heal my child her prayer became, "In the name of Jesus, I speak healing, courage, power, and wholeness over you, right now and into eternity."

"In that instant I started to see what it is to live my strengths-and my quirks- with God, not for him. God used my perfectionist motives to open the door for him to work with me and for my daugher in prayer."

Laurie challenges us to look hard at those things we wish we could change and to look at them in a new light.

One of my "quirks" is that I HATE small talk and will do anything to avoid it. Sometimes that means over-sharing when meeting someone for the first time (which usually means I end up beating myself up later that night for saying too much too soon) or NOT saying anything at all to keep from saying too much.

Another one is I think way too much! This can hurt me in that it means I can be very indecisive. I take into account all the options and possible outcomes. I know in some decisions someone is going to be hurt or left out and I HATE that!

Oh, and don't let me forget about my pension for laughing or smiling when things are super serious. I can't help it. When I get nervous, scared, or REALLY angry...I smile.

I know, weird.

Let me ask you.

Have YOU ever laughed during a funeral? Well I have, and it's embarrassing. I have this crazy need to want to lighten up dark situations. I have to make too-serious people smile (just ask my husband-drives him crazy!) :)

After reading this book I asked myself, "Self, how can these quirks be used for good in, partnership with God?"

What if I take Laurie's advice and turn those weird quirks around and look at them from a different perspective?

My, I hate small talk because I over share, could be seen as, I enjoy intimate-deep conversations with people. I want to know people's stories and for them to know I care and want to hear. Not so bad now!

The, I think too much, could be flipped around to be seen as, I have a deep sense of empathy. I care deeply for others. I know what it feels like to be left out and hurt because of it. This doesn't release me of my responsibility to make decisions, but it makes me sympathetic and more careful with them.

And my favorite, I smile and/or laugh at the most awkward moments could be seen as...........

I have nothing on this one...it's just weird. :/
 "My quirks, preferences, strengths and challenges, it became clear, had all been one huge becoming. Each revealed parts of God’s design in me―for me―and it all mattered. Just as every part matters in yours..."(Laurie Wallin)
What I've learned from this book is that it's OK to be quirky, and weirdly wonderful.

I don't ever have to wonder again why my personality is a certain way and wish for it to be different. 

Because that is what makes me uniquely me. 

And that is a good thing!


But the book by 3/22 and get free stuff!!

What quirk do you have that you have always wished were different? Have you ever asked God to make you different, because you feel so different from everyone else?

Do you think you can fully embrace whom God has made you to be-Wonderful weird quirks and all?


Some questions you can ask yourself:
1. What words might appropriately describe your life over time?
2. What experiences have you had, and what have you gained from them?
3. What ideas and experiences inspire you?


About the author of the book:


Laurie Wallin's photo.

Laurie Wallen 
Laurie Wallin is a Christian speaker and certified Life Coach who loves helping people find joy and confidence by letting go of energy drainers and using their God-inspired strengths. Laurie, her husband and their four daughters make their home in San Diego.http://lauriewallin.com, Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/livingpowerlifecoaching, and Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/mylivingpower
Wanna buy the book? You can do so here ===>Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful




Linking with: Thought-Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Do You Know?


                                           Unknown-2


I wonder a lot if the plans I make are my plans or seeds planted from God.

Sometimes it can be so hard to tell, you know?

Good ideas come to mind and I get so excited and think "YES, that is what I'm going to do!!"

There was a time (not too many years ago), when my big fat plans and their good intentions would come crashing down all around me and I would be left sitting in the ashes wondering, what in the world just happened?

The dream sounded good, felt right. Why didn't it work?! I even prayed. Shouldn't God have worked all this out?

I remember distinctly reading in His word about how He works all things out for my good.

Well.

I would pout, cry, and be mad. Ask God,where are You?! You don't care!

During my tantrums, He usually stayed quiet.

That would make it worse. Didn't he care? I mean after all I was doing this for Him.

Or was I? I thought I was.

I used to walk in circles so many times. I would think I had things figured out and what God wanted and who He was and then back on my bum I would fall.

Dreaming was for the birds.

I decided if he wanted me to do something from now on, He would have to hit me over the head with it. Or better yet, flash a big red arrow-sign saying, This is the way, do this! ===>>

Oh, how frustrating life can be.

How do we really know if a dream is from God?

Holley says:
"Most people move ahead in their lives without pausing to ask what God wants. And here you are desiring to know-truly know-if this is what he has for you before you take another step. That alone is pleasing to him."
It seems so simple. Ask Him. While I prefer the big red flashing sign. He prefers to walk along side of me as I pray and search within myself to figure it out.

I want to rush ahead as soon as a good idea pops into my head and do it NOW! And he wants me to go slow, with Him.

He has taught me it's ok to be excited but not to let the excitement get in the way of wise and careful planning. Including praying and asking myself, "Is this really from God, or me? Does this align with my strengths? How will my family be affected?"

If I can honestly answer all of these questions and the answers seem to line up, then I move forward, prayerfully asking God to show me what's next.

Most of the time, and very slowly (God is all about developing that patience and perseverance muscle!), He will bring a Bible passage my way, a song, a blog post, or a person that will speak to me EXACTLY what I need.

And if He doesn't, I take what next step I can and wait ( oh, how I hate that word!).

I wish I could boldly say I have this God-sized dreaming thing figured out. And once I think I'm starting to, He surprises me with something else.

But, if there's one thing I have learned this past year, it is that it's not about the viral blog post, recognition, or a thousand "likes."

It's about the journey, the relationships, and the people you meet and touch along the way. That's it. Period.

Maybe God will bring you fame or money from all your dreaming and hard work. That would be great and I would be right there with you celebrating with a cupcake.

But if you're end goal and desire isn't to grow closer to God and love people, then the money and fame will be meaningless.

And how sad  would that be to reach the end of your dream and to find yourself far from God and all alone?

Dreaming, man. It's hard.

It requires you to ask some tough questions of yourself. Are you ready? Do you know if your dream is from God?







Linking up with fellow dreamers today at God-sized dreams. Write up a post or join the conversation in the comments!
God-sized Dreams Link Up

And my sisters over at SDG, Winsome Wed, Imperfect Prose, and #TellHisStory

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Seeds Of Dreams




Remember when you were a child and had dreams of growing up and becoming a rock star or famous actress/actor? No? Me either.
Maybe you were more practical and just knew you were going to be a teacher, a doctor, or maybe a mom and raise babies.
Whatever it was, we start out dreaming and then somewhere along the way we stop. We grow up and buy into the lie that dreaming is for kids. Adults should live in the real world, where they have to work and pay bills. And we completely forget what it is like to dream.
But, if you could stop for a moment and allow yourself to 'go there,'  what would your dream be? 

I believe God plants dreams in us from the moment we are born and it's up to us to water and nurture those seeds so that they can grow.

To read the rest of my post about following your dreams,click here ====> God Sized Dreams

                                                            200blogbuttonavatar



Thanks!





Photo Credit: Korey Napier

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Different..It's Good

'Living la Vida Loca - Explored #338' photo (c) 2008, vana - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/


When you have kids you can spend a lot of time wondering if you will screw them up.

You wonder if others will love them as much as you do.

Soon, they start school and you wonder will the other kids like them and will they make friends? What about their teachers?

After I got serious about this Jesus thing, I started praying for my kids to be different.

Different and wonderful and true light-bearers in this dark world.

My husband was afraid I was going to turn them into weirdos.

I knew they were going to be that so much more! :)

Now that we officially have a teenager ( I can't believe I just said that!!)

I've been renewed in my quest to raise different kids. (note I didn't say good kids)

Working with the 8th grade girls on Wednesday nights I see the insecurity, the need to fit it in and belong. The short shorts, heavy makeup, the drama from long days of school and clashing personalities.

On TV and the radio, I see and hear the messages of what sexy looks like and what boys want.

But your booty don't need explaining, All I really need to understand is,
When you talk dirty to me (Jason Derulo)
I make them good girls go bad,I make them good girls go
Good girls go bad
Good girls go bad (Cobra Starship)
All you young wild girls you make a mess of me,Yeah, you young wild girls, You'll be the death for me, the death for me (Bruno Mars)

The message is loud and clear: Sex sells. More is more and sexy is everything.

It's hot and cool to be bad. 

Different, strong, beautiful from the inside out isn't what this world values.

Our kids need us to speak courage into their souls so that they won't be afraid to be whom they are.

Speak up daughter. Test your voice. Use it for the left out, the lonely, the unchosen. But don’t forget to love the popular in all their desperately insecure unhappiness. Let your lunch table be a welcome place. Your freedom a great gulp of hope to the girls who try to fit into the skin of models who don’t exist outside the pages of the glossies. (Lisa Jo Baker)

I'm under no illusions that my voice is going to be heard above the noise that pollutes daily. But I won't give up or give in.( can I just build a cocoon and force them to live in it till their 30?  no?)

Being different is a daily choice. Choice by choice we have to be conscious of what we say and do because it reflects what we value.

The pull to fit in is strong. So strong. Always has been and doesn't diminish just because you grow up.

I'm learning it's ok to be with who I am, quirks and all. And maybe this comes with age and wisdom of living for 29 (ok, 34) years on this earth.

We have to be women we want our daughters to be.
 First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see. (Brene Brown)

Being different, it starts with us.

Do we dare be who we really are? Is it worth the risk of rejection?

If we say no, and hold back in our day to day relationships and declare it's just too hard and risky. Do we see how we are telling those coming behind us to keep the mask on it's not worth it?

Being vulnerable is the key to any relationship
It's the glue that will hold a friendship together. 

*********
How can we be different?

When others gossip, we stay silent or walk away.
When others are jealous, we stay content with what we have been given.
When others boast, we stay humble.
When others are mean, we are kind.
When others look down their noses, we take a seat and pass the bread.

Different is hard but freeing.
Different is worth it!
Different...It's Good!
 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)




Joining #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose, Three Word Wed,Winsome Wed Thought Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Giving Time And The One Thing That Makes All The Difference In Our Dreams




"We can't "make"time for our God-sized dream or for anything else in our lives." Holley Gerth, Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream

When my kids were little I started getting into the practice getting up super early to workout and have Bible study time before they would get up.

Why? Because of guilt.

I felt guilty for giving my attention to anything else other than them. I felt like when they were up I needed to be available when they cried, called, beckoned or whatever.

Guilt is an evil master.

And I was his slave.

From the time my feet hit in the morning until I tuck them back underneath at night there is always something that is demanding my time.

And one thing I've learned over the years is that I can either give into the guilt and keep striving or Let the Guilt Go.

It will make all the difference in your life and when working on those God-given dreams.

I've realized that in order for me to be the best "me"I have to carve out time to spend time with God, exercise, have girls night outs, looong bubble baths and yes, write.

It's not selfish to take care of yourself. And it's not selfish to work on your dreams.

I've found that when I do these things I'm refreshed and more centered and less of a crazy-stressed out mom. Not only do I benefit from "me time"but the family does as well.

It's a win-win.

So, next time you are worried about having time to work out those dreams or guilt is threatening to lay it on thick, say, "Get behind me guilt, my time is God-ordained and I will not waste it by doing idle things or procrastinating. I will use every minute of this day to do what God has planned for me."

Lets let go of the guilt and the fear of not doing enough. Instead lets give time to our dreams and our lives. I think it's the best way we can serve our families, ourselves and our God.

What do you think?



                                                               Join me here?


And here?

Holley Gerth

And of course here, Soli deo Gloria
                                                           

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