Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘identity’

ledge

{Photo by bippityboppityboo.tumblr.com}

As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow stronger.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process.

The deception about trust is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. However, we become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants/needs in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Conflict and Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues.

They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang ups with trust?

What are your self-perceptions that hinder trust?

Read Full Post »

Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

I think today’s busy equals status and value. I think people feel like they a someone if they are busy. For some reason we have equated busy with important. If you find yourself overwhelmed with over commitments, or talk about your over flowing inbox, you might be “busy.” Do your relationships suffer from your busy-ness?

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

Read Full Post »

This idea of carrying the weight of influence scares me. If I was being most honest, it scares me to think that my life, words, actions, silence, beliefs, and values affect others. I do not take the fact that I am in influential positions lightly. I choose my words carefully.

These days I am finding myself more and more in positions of influence. As a Life Coach, I am working with individuals to make desired changes in their lives. That is a big deal to me. As a speaker, I am responsible for the words spoken from my mouth. My heart feels heavy just thinking about the weight of influence that desire holds for me. The weight of that influence represents truth, hope, living as one who believes and knows someone greater than myself. My life is meant to magnify the one I want to speak about.

Blogging is a way of speaking as well. Social media reflects our character and how we treat people. There is a weight I feel when posting. I am methodical about what I write, even if it’s light-hearted. I desire to influence those who read.

Written words, in any form, and for any reason should not be taken lightly.

Everything I say and do should reflect the answer to the question Jesus asks of who I say he is. Before I can be a Coach and a Speaker,  I have to just be a follower after him. Before I can play those roles, I must walk out the identity I claim in him. If I had no job, I would still be responsible and accountable to claim Jesus as the Christ. There is still a weight of influence to those who you don’t know are watching and listening. There is a weight of influence for yourself.

You have to be what you want to say!

I do not take my words lightly. I want to be good for others. I desire to speak truth, provide truth and hope. I crave the weight of my influence to point people to someone greater than me. Even the ones I don’t know are listening and watching.

How do you handle the weight of your influence?

How have you seen influence used poorly?

Read Full Post »

success1

I have lived in many different places. Ambition and drive are always present, but wear different masks. When I lived in DC drive looked like competition of the corporate ladder. Business suites, politics, and salary were the measure of one’s success. Nashville wears the mask of image and fame. The drive looks like the comparison of creativity and talent.

The competition of success becomes the filter through which we relate to others and view ourselves.

We live in a measurable culture. Andy Stanley calls it the “comparison Trap.” We are constantly looking to the right and left to see where we measure up against that of other people. We develop judgments through conversations to determine if we are “okay.” We are constantly drawing conclusions that sound like, “well I’m better than that person, or further ahead, but I am not that person.”

What determines success?

The easy answer is that money makes the bar of success. Maybe having a best seller is success, or a hit song. Success is whatever makes you considered the best in your field of determination. However, the issue with the false advertising of success is that the bar is unmeetable. There will always be someone who we will see has better or beneath us.

Success needs redefining. Success needs a new outlook.

Matt Chandler has opened my eyes to what success should look like – what it really is. In his book Explicit Gospel, he talks about how the prophets in the bible would not be considered successful by our culture’s standards.  Chandler states,

Now if Isaiah was a minister within today’s evangelicalism, he’d be considered and utter failure. Jeremiah would be an utter failure. Moses didn’t get to enter the promise land. John the Baptist didn’t get to see the ministry of Jesus. We would not view the ministry of these men as successful. One of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of Heaven. We have to be wary of the idea that numeric growth and enthusiastic response are always signs of success.

I read about these guys and think, “Wow! They were doing something – they had audiences, and followers. They were speaking words that mattered.” However, the truth is that not many people listened to them, well at least for Isaiah and Jeremiah. Isaiah was out right rejected for his message and obedience. Do we consider them successful because they are now known and “famous?”

Chandler states that, “faithfulness is success. Obedience is success.”

There is a tension of wanting to do more to be more. Drive and passion are good, but faithfulness and character matter more. Success should be driven by how we treat people – how marriage shows commitment and loyalty. Success should look like celebrating the gifts and talents of others while being great at where you are presently.

Success and failure should not be defined by comparison. Small things matter. You gifts and your heart matters. How you are faithful and obedient to those abilities given to you is what success is. Love well. Wait well. Celebrate other people often. Be successful at who you are, not what you do.

What is frustrating to you about success?

What is your comparison trap?

Read Full Post »

We all grew up memorizing the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names/words will never hurt me.

This is just a bunch of bull. Why do we teach people this!? The truth is that I would rather be hit with sticks and stones because it heals faster, and it doesn’t leave as painful of a mark on me.

Words mean everything to our hearts and life. The sound of those words can make or break someone forever. Words and names pierce the deepest parts of us, and in such a short period of time. I am sure we can all think of words we heard in the last 24 hours that either encouraged us or left a mark of hurt.

Tone of voice means everything as well. Growing up I knew when my mom was mad. We didn’t even have to be on the same floor of the house and the message was clear!

We listen to words and voices. Those words tend to determine how we view ourselves. They dictate the lenses through which we base our identity on.

My heart hurts when I see the lifelong lies people live out. I hate hearing about the hurts that people have experienced that have now developed into daily patterns of insecurity. It breaks me. I am sad over my own lenses that determine the way I hear.

I am not good at receiving. I gloss over compliments and sometimes encouragement. My immediate thought is that those words are not meant for me. I have lies that were solidified in my ears a long time ago. It’s hard to hear “you’re beautiful” because “you’re ugly” has been spoken over me for too long. I still wonder what beautiful feels like.

Our culture speaks the words that nothing is enough. We have an un-meetable bar for being lovable, worthy, and valuable. All of those seem to come with competition and pain. That makes me sad. I don’t know one person who is confident in their identity.

Our identity can be challenged but never changed.

The misconception about identity is that it changes. The truth about identity is that it is a fact; a fact that is unchanging regardless of any conditions.

God created us with the identity that we are valuable, lovable, worthy, and His beloved. That never changes. This is the truth that we need to measure all words up against. He says we are worth saving and worth loving – worth laying down His life for. That is fierce love and value. Nothing changes that truth.

Our lives face many battles and challenges to this truth, but truth can’t cease to be truth. You are spoken over and spoken for. That never changes.

I get that this is a lifelong challenge. Changing a long time pattern of thinking and believing takes time. My hope is that your lenses start to change and the voices you begin to hear at that of truth.

You are worth it!

What are lies you struggle with in your life? 

Read Full Post »

I am so passionate about the topic of identity. I could talk about this topic all day long. You want to see me get fired up, let’s talk about identity.

Call it my protective nature, or just hunger for truth to be known.

Every human being goes through the wrestling process of trying to figure their identity. High school is when we start to say, “huh, I am not my parents, I don’t’ want to be my parents, so who am I?” This is when the filter of challenges to our identity begins.

Our identity can be challenged but never changed.

The misconception about identity is that it changes. The truth about identity is that it is a fact; a fact that is unchanging regardless of any conditions.

What this means is that we all have an identity that never changes regardless of any conditions or circumstances.

Too many people associate their identities with their skills set. Our culture has made the questions of “who we are” and “what we do,” interchangeable. This is a huge misconception. It enables the deception that our identities depend on us, and our skills.

What we do is NOT who we are!

What we do is God’s way of displaying who he is in different forms. However, before we were born we all enter the world with an identity that is never changing. We are all his beloved children. We are his. We are loved and considered worth dying for. This never changes.

Our identity never changes regardless of conditions or circumstances. Identity can only be challenged.

I have learned that my frustrations and insecurities are usually signs that my identity is being challenged. God cares so much about me to allow frustration so that I don’t settle on what is untrue. Insecurities I have about my self-worth are challenges to my identity. I am glad that God does not let me stay in my insecurities, but challenges back with truth.

Insecurities are great signs that our identity is being challenged. I am so grateful that God is faithful to always bring me back to his truth that I am already spoke for by him.

The world will always try and tell you who you are. Always. Messages that challenge our identity bombard our minds and hearts all day. Once we understand that our identity is unchangeable, it takes the weight the messages we are challenged with everyday.

What challenges your identity?

Read Full Post »

The heart fascinates me. I love people. I love getting to know the story of another. I am a big fan of big crowds, and nights filled with intertwined conversations.

We are fast becoming a culture that craves relationships and community, but actually gives little time to develop either one. We are a culture that thrives on status. The success of being known is measured by how many followers we have on Twitter or Facebook. If people want to get to know us, we have links we can pass on to them.

Even the course of questioning is changing rapidly when meeting someone face to face. Our culture has three basic questions we ask to figure out someone’s identity. We ask the questions of “What do you do? Where do you live? What school did you go to?” Now we have shifted into “Are you on Twitter? Do you have a blog? Can I find you on Facebook?”

We need people to fit into a category or box of identity…..

I am honored to be guest posting over on my friend Tony’s site today! 

Would love your thoughts regarding today’s identity.

Read more…..

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »