I could never be as good as her

I sat with a group of beautiful women in the historic Hilltop House Restaurant in Fayetteville, NC. I was a visitor at the “Fayetteville Women’s Connection,” an outreach of Stonecroft Ministries. For the last nine months, I have been preparing to become a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries. During this time, I have written and rewritten my testimony – my story of how I came to know Jesus – to share with Stonecroft groups in the future.

The time we had all been waiting for arrived. The speaker stepped up to the podium. I was excited to hear her speak and to learn more about what a Stonecroft meeting was like. I began the meeting sitting on the edge of my seat, eager to learn.

She began her talk by engaging the audience by asking them their favorite Disney movies. Pretty soon she had us saying, when cued, “Once upon a time…” She smiled and nodded as she drew us in with her story. She was a dynamic speaker who had her thirty minute presentation completely memorized.

(more…)

Insecurity lurks beneath my trendy J. Crew outfit

Panty hose – check.
Cocktail dress – check.
Statement necklace – check.
Cute heels – check.

It was the time of year for holiday Christmas parties and we had been invited to one with my husband’s coworkers.  I was all set to look festive and fun in my new dress but on the inside I was a complete wreck.

The month prior, when the invitation came, I panicked.  The dress attire was “cocktail/holiday festive” and my “little black dress” in my closet was over 20 years old. In those 20 years, my body had changed thanks to children and gravity and fashion had certainly changed, so that little black dress would not do.  For my birthday, a fashionable friend took me shopping for a new little black dress.

She helped me put together a killer outfit but sadly it did not give me an ounce of confidence.  My brain was stuck in a profound memory that was ten years old, and took place in the Landfall Country Club bathroom.  I’m in this bathroom and I’m looking at lean, fit, refined women in their sleeveless fashionable little black dresses.  Then I look at myself and I was frumpy, dumpy, and woefully out of style.

The truth is, I struggle to fit in with the refined, cultured, country club set.  I grew up roaming my grandmother’s cow pastures helping my dad feed his cows.  I know more about how to call cattle (OY-EE!) than I do about how to dress for a cocktail party.  I’m not fashionable or fit or refined, and it leaves me feeling like I’m not good enough.

And as I look at my clothing for this next corporate Christmas party, I still feel the same way.  I won’t fit in.  I can’t compete.  Compared to these women, I’m not good enough.  I don’t have any Spanx and my eyebrows aren’t waxed and my fingernails are never painted.  But I can call a cow – does that count?

My feelings are not unique to just me.  When you go to work, you may look around the table and think that you are not smart enough.  When you are at the park, you may see some “super moms” and think that you are not as good at parenting as them. You may look at your sister and think that you will never be as successful as she is.

Will we ever feel like we are good enough?

And just who said we weren’t good enough?

The lie of “not good enough” started in the Garden of Eden.  The serpent, that beguiling liar of old, hinted to Eve that without the knowledge of good and evil that God had, she was not complete.  She was not good enough just like she was.  And Eve bought into that lie and tried to make herself someone who she really was not meant to be.

Just like me with that fancy cocktail dress and statement necklace, trying to look like a country club girl when really, I’m just a plain country girl without a club.

In that country club bathroom ten years ago, a lie was whispered in my ear as I looked at those beautiful, fit, fashionista women.  A lie that told me I was not good enough.  And I believed it, hook, lie, and sinker.  Just like Eve, I took a bite of the apple.

When you are sitting at the conference table and you think everyone else is smarter than you are, you are listening to a lie.  When you are at the park and all the moms seem to outshine you, you are listening to a lie.  When you are out with your family and the other women seem more successful than you, you are listening to a lie.

When you hear “not good enough” you can be sure that you are listening to that ancient lie that started in the garden.

Stop it!

What is the truth?  When God made Adam and Eve, He said that they were good.  They were complete, sufficient, good enough.  They didn’t need anything more than what He had given them.

Everything that God makes, he calls “Good.”   When He made you, He put the best of His amazingness in you.  He made you creative and clever and wise.  He made you fun and beautiful and valuable. Don’t believe anything otherwise.

Sister, you are good enough.

When you go to the gym,
Or head to your play date,
Or make a presentation,
Or take an exam,
Or meet with your child’s teacher,
Or attend a family gathering,
Or just head out with the girls,
tell yourself:
“I am good enough.”

And when I head to the next Christmas party, I will do the same.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

God humbled me, and it was quite embarrassing

Over a dozen years ago a praise and worship leader named Paul Wilbur came to Wilmington.  He is a talented musician who primarily plays a messianic worship style of music which is conducive to Jewish dancing.  Many dancers from churches in Wilmington came together to choreograph Jewish dances for these songs, such as “The Days of Elijah.”  My four year old daughter Hannah and I were among them.

humble

(more…)

I’m an insecure overachiever with a touch of OCD

Everyone who knows me well knows that I have a touch of OCD.  My earrings and Solo cups are all arranged by ROYGBIV.   There is not a crooked picture in my house….I’m sure of it, because I would be the first to notice and have to fix it.  My grass is largely weed-free because in my mind, grass and weeds should not co-exist.

If you have ever seen the TV show Monk about the obsessive-compulsive detective then you should know me well.  I am Adrian Monk.

insecure

 

(more…)

Can someone else do your job better than you?

I stood with my eyes open during praise and worship and watched everything going on around me.  I should have been focused on God and singing with joy, but my mind was distracted by the women around me.  They were hugging on each other, prophesying over each other, and down on the floor in tears together.  And I was standing there, alone, with really no desire to be doing any of those things at that moment.

Which is a problem since I am the Ladies Ministry Leader at my church.

vulnerability

(more…)

When Your “Love Tank” has a hole in it

It seems that the older I get the more I dress like my mother: bright colors, flashy jewelry, matching shoes.   She’s a fashionable older woman who shops at Steinmart and Chico’s…you know the type!  I haven’t yet started buying animal prints, but anything can happen!  Add some “big hair” and lip gloss and I can be quite the sight!  I know that we should not put so much stock in our outward appearance, but sometimes dressing up can help us to feel better.  Here is me with some lip gloss:

love tank

(more…)

I have a love/hate relationship with Women’s Conferences

Two weeks ago I attended the IF:Wilmington women’s conference in my hometown of Wilmington, NC.  There were around 800 women that attended with me.  It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ because we were young, old, and middle-aged (me!) as well as black, white, Hispanic and Asian.  I was privileged to serve at the conference as a greeter so I was able to speak to many of the women who attended.

As they came in, I noticed things about their outward appearance. Short hair and long hair.  Boots and flats.  Long wavy hair and short pixie cuts.  Teens and grandmas.  Stylish and frumpy.
inner beauty

(more…)

Digging deep for a courageous heart

The stage lights are up and the stage sits empty, waiting for her to come up.  She is praying fervently in her seat that it will go well.  She looks to her husband and friend and whispers, “Pray for me.”  It’s almost time.  She studies her notes one last time and prays for God to give her the words to say.  And then it is time. The pastor of the church calls her up.  Her heart flutters as she hears his words:

“Lisa, come on up and make the announcements.”

courageous (more…)