Friday, January 20, 2012

Still Persevering, Still Learning, Still Overcoming

Things have been a little quiet on my blog this week.

My apologies.

I have stepped back to get some things in order at home and in ME.

It's good to do that sometimes.
  • Remind yourself where you're going and why you booked the trip.
  • Make sure your laundry is washed, folded, and put away before you go.
  • Reorganize your suitcase to make sure you have all you need.
I'm not talking about an actual trip, of course (unless someone wants to send me on a paid vacation).  I'm talking about this life journey once again.

Have I stayed the course?

Have I been sidetracked by detours, bad weather, or road hazards?

Does my car need to be serviced?

Does my GPS display the correct destination?

One of the things I am doing is reading more (still writing, but just not posting everything yet). I am doing two book/Bible studies, decluttering and organizing my home, working on a companion study guide for my Pastor, continuing to learn the craft of writing, and still working on two projects of my own (my book for traditional publishing and a short ebook).

One of the studies I have joined is an online study for A Confident Heart by Renee Swope (I actually met Renee at a conference last year where I picked up a copy of her book). I've read part of it before but I could read it over and over again. It speaks to the very center of me. It challenges me, reminds me, and encourages me. We are just on Chapter One this week, so if you'd like to join, there is still time.

Today, she asked us to reread Chapter One: Discovering the Shadow of My Doubts. In it, she compares self-doubt and uncertainty to an actual shadow on the wall.

  • "...I turned around to put my makeup bag in my suitcase, which was on the floor. That's when I noticed a huge nine-foot shadow on the wall. I was surprised by how much bigger my shadow was than my five-foot-two-inch frame."
  • "It was distorting my image on the wall by making my body look bigger than it really was. All of a sudden, it dawned on me. My uncertainty had created a huge shadow of doubt. Just like my shadow on the wall was distorting my shape, my doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions."
This makes perfect sense to me. I can look back and see times in my life (and even now) where the shadow created by my own self-doubt distorted my thoughts while confusing and discouraging me.

I remember last year when I signed up for my first Writer's Conference, She Speaks. Boy, was that a huge thing for me. Once upon a time I had a little more courage and gumption, but these years as a stay at mom have become quite the comfortable norm for me. Traveling many states away to a conference where I did not know anyone took a little effort.

As I reflect on my pre-conference jitters, I can recognize the distorted images in my head:
  • Why are YOU going? You are not qualified. Surely everyone there is a professional while you are just a stay at home mom.
  • No one wants to network with you. What do YOU have to offer?
  • You are not a writer, you are just a blogger who makes no difference.
  • You never even finished college. How do expect to write a book?
  • And speaking? That's funny. Don't embarrass yourself. Those girls at She Speaks are so much better.
  • Just don't get on the plane. You will be relieved you didn't.
Yes, those are some actual thoughts I had. And even as I am preparing to register for this year and continuing to write, I hear some of them trying to revisit.

I am reminding myself of this week's memory verse:

"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the lord their hope and confidence" (Jeremiah 17:7).

I am reminding myself that these words DO make a difference and I AM a writer.

Is there an area where the shadow of doubt has distorted your thoughts, overpowered your emotions and caused confusion?

Remind yourself of God's word. Remind yourself of the gifts and talents He has placed within you. And remind yourself He chose to use you as a vessel to bring His glory to the earth.

As Renee said in Chapter One, "We will find our heart's confidence in Christ as we learn how to rely on the power of His promises in our everyday lives."

Put your hope and confidence in the One who won't let you down.

I am.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised" (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Confident Heart

3 friends had this to say:

Shakin' the Foundation said...

And once again you have blessed with!! Thank you my sweet friend!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great that our God places us exactly where He wants and then His precious Spirit works and flows through us? To God be all the glory my friend....

Shelly said...

Thank you Stacey and you, my friends :)