I've made some really incredible friends lately. I'm a part of a Christian women's network called The Influence Network, and within that group, they've helped facilitate some small groups. Well, my small group? It's some amazing women. We got together recently for a Google Hangout (have you ever done one of those? They're freaking cool.), and I just sat outside, ate some dinner, drank some cream soda, and chatted with women all over the country... and one woman was in SOUTH AFRICA. Yeah, she set her alarm for 3am and woke her butt up and came and chatted with us on Google Hangout.
How rad is that? It was incredibly humbling experience, "meeting" like-minded women online, talking about our children, talking about the BIBLE, chatting about life and grammar and blogging and everything in between. It was truly beautiful. And I'm so grateful for that opportunity. I implore you, friend, to go find something similar. If you need ideas as to where to find this, let me know. I can help you to find a like-minded group that you can chat with and get to know and have a relationship with.
So. This group of women, we're striving to become better writers (one of them is writing a book! Holy crap.), so one of our prompts is to write about Fear. <--- scary triggering word for me. Not so much because I have a lot of fear in my life, but because that's a word that makes you think, I have to go deeper. And sometimes, going deeper is exhausting and overwhelming and too much to bear.
But, you grow. And that's what this is about, this blogging thing, this community thing, this life thing. It's about growth.
AND. You know I love me some Sometimes Sweet journal prompts. I've done a few over them over the past month or so (the social media post, the religious post). I love them for the same reason that I love this group - the prompts make me think, they make me dive deeper, they make me see more of myself by laying it all out there.
Dani's prompt for this week? Check it out: Sometimes it can be hard to hear criticism from others. I know for me it's something I may always struggle with- being a people pleaser, etc. At the same time though, constructive criticism can be very helpful, and allow us to look at ourselves in a new light and maybe even grow and change. Take a step out of yourself. If you were on the outside looking in, how would you critique yourself? What things do you see that could change or work on? This isn't about tearing ourselves down; it's about really looking at ourselves and seeing where there's room for growth.
GROWTH. I just said the same thing!! Growth. That's what it's about! Dang I love when worlds collide and fear and growth and surrender can all be wrapped into one and laid at His feet. It's an incredible thing, how He weaves in and out of my life. To discover more of me (yes, Discover is my word for 2014). I mean, if I believed in coincidences, this would be one of those moments.
But. Let's get to the question, shall we?
Constructive criticism is extremely helpful. It is. I take constructive criticism at work almost daily. I have to. I have to humble myself and hear how I can be better at my job, because a patient's life literally depends on it. So I know how to take a suggestion and apply it to my work life and job to continually be made better.
But in real life? In not-my-work-life? I hate constructive criticism. I hate it. I don't want to hear how YOU think I could be better, I just want to do ME.
I don't want to hear how you think I'd be a better wife, I'm damn good already. I don't want to hear how to be a better student, I don't really care. I don't want to hear about how I can be a better cook, I just don't want to cook.
Selfish. That's what this boils down to. I think that I'm the bees' knees and that's all there is too it. Constructive criticism, my ass. Take your criticism and turn it onto yourself and fix YOU to work better with ME.
Just being honest here. And this reality? This reflection I'm looking at? It doesn't make me proud. It doesn't give Him glory. It doesn't make me better.
I want to be better. Just like Mary said about parenting and how it makes you selfless, I want to continue to strive to be selfless in all areas. I don't have to be okay with apathy or being unmotivated. I CAN be motivated and fulfilled and joyful and in a constant state of discovery.
I'm not a complete vessel, I am one to be constantly renewed and revived and worked on. I am called to be in a transformative state, I am called to reach outside of myself, outside of my fear, outside of my comfort zone, and be stronger, be wiser, be kinder, be more selfless.
I am called to more.
Oftentimes I'm crippled by the fear of what people will think of me. So I sit in my apathy and in my messy life and I don't reach for anything beyond it. I am okay with my bubble, and in fact, I sometimes love my bubble and my complacency and my indifference.
But that's not living as the daughter of the King. That's living as the daughter of the world. And I'm not made for this world. I was made for His world, for something greater, for something beyond fear and apathy and indifference and selfishness.
I am called to more.
And so are you.
[Tweet "I am called to more. And so are you."]
We aren't called to live in our bubbles and be satisfied with mediocrity. We are called to more.
How do we get there?
- Open up the Word. Daily. Weekly. Write down Scripture in a journal. One verse. See how it applies to your life and write down how it does. Let your pen do the talking.
- Join a community group. Whether that be a Facebook group that encourages you in motherhood, womanhood, life-hood, or a group to Hangout with, or a small group of women within your community, or a playgroup from the library. Talk. Open up. Find out more about yourself through sharing with others.
- Sit down and talk to your husband. Or significant other. Or best friend. Find out what they think of your relationship. How can you improve? What can you constructively work on?
- Take those answers and write them in your journal. Write down how they apply to you and what steps you can take to improve. Write it down so you don't forget. Write a blog post about it and link it up here if you want to share with me just as I am with you.
- Remember that you are beautiful. And made for glory. And made to set the world ablaze. We aren't made for mediocrity. Read something encouraging (daily if you can) about how you are incredible. Because you are.
I am discovering. Daily. More about myself. And you can, too. We just have to look in the mirror and strip away the walls and really dive deeper into this life. We can be renewed, we can be revived. We just need to take the steps to constructively look at our lives and our actions and do the dang thing. Let's take the apathy and mediocrity and set it aside, let's look at our reflection and see who He made and what we were made for. Let's throw caution to the wind and fear to the side, and let's discover who we were meant to be.
Let's make room for growth.
Now it's your turn. Link up with my great, wonderful friend Kristen of When at Home to write about fear. It's all you. Do it.
In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.