I have mentioned Nicole Unice's book, She's Got Issues, over the last several months as my small group has been working through it. We completed the study last week, but met again yesterday simply to discuss our personal takeaway points from the book.
Reading is not passive for me. Pen in hand, I mark books UP when they speak to me. As I flipped back through the dozens of pages I had highlighted,
underlined and asterisked I wondered how I would ever narrow it down. Amidst all my scribbles, a passage jumped off the page and gave my heart a jolt.
"...insecurity's greatest coup: keeping us overly focused on ourselves. And there's nothing that keeps us from living in freedom like the soul vacuum of self focus." Nicole Unice, She's Got Issues, page 84
Being a stay at home Mom and wife has honestly put me in more of a state of insecurity than any other stage of my life (except maybe sorority rush, but that was mercifully over in less than a week :) There are so many theories, self-proclaimed experts and checklists.
I spent a decade in the corporate world before coming home full time. I like to work hard and do well with what I have been entrusted. I like measurements of progress--because for better or worse at least there is a measure of what areas need work. But this spouse & Mama gig feels like a moving target. There is no succinct job description, no annual review or formal process of assessing how we are doing. And for crying out loud, we are dealing with people's hearts and lives. The pressure can feel crippling.
The mental list of 'shoulds' can leave me feeling defeated before the day has really begun.
I strive to keep a clean & organized home, but dirty dishes taunt me from the sink, people still cannot find key things like shoes and the two days a year when my laundry room is empty seem like cause for a parade.
I pay our bills and manage the family finances, but homework time leaves me frazzled and wanting to hide in my closet.
I adore my husband and children, but I am certain there are many times my tone conveys otherwise.
I research, read and pray, but, boy, do I ever blow the application sometimes.
My heart longs to spend my 'free' time in meaningful ways, but sometimes
I also just want to sit and play Candy Crush Saga. (Sad, but true.)
And somewhere in the midst of oil changes, febrile children, laundry piles and volunteerism, I want to have unrushed time to sit and laugh with friends.
The saddest part is, I can't blame anyone else for making me feel this way. This is MY issue. Before I know it, I have been rendered ineffective by the tailspin of self evaluation, scorecarding myself and trolling the Mommy articles to figure out if I am measuring up. There is so much noise about the 'right' way to do things that I lose the voices that matter most.
I believe the Lord is sovereign, so it really boils down to only a couple of questions:
1. How has the Lord uniquely equipped ME for these individual children and the partner I am in a covenant with?
2. What does love (for the Lord and those He has placed in my life) require of me TODAY?
These entangling cords of self focus, doubt and insecurity are not from the Lord. He has a plan and my life is a part of it, but it is not about me. It is abut Him. I must simply tune in regularly for His guiding hand...not His plan for Sue or Sally or Staci...but the part he has for ME, in this place, in this season, with these people.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not
be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
Lord, help me shed the yoke of insecurity that You have already died to free me from.
Take my focus off of me, me, me.
It's gross and exhausting.
I profess to be Yours...give me the courage, strength and focus to act like it.
Lord, make me a woman who is secure in You.
"Secure women know their strengths and aren't afraid to own them.
also know their weaknesses and aren't scared by them.
women can easily admit when they are wrong, but they don't beat
themselves up about it.
Secure women take risks.
women fail but try again.
Secure women can be vulnerable with
Secure women don't have to know all the answers.
women can say no.
Secure women believe that love multiplies and
that they can give lavish love and affection away because there will
always be an abundance for them...
Secure women are beautiful,
powerful women because of their deep ability to love--not because they
do it perfectly but because they are loved by a perfect God, who will
"equip you with all you need for doing His Will." (Hebrews 13:21)"
-Nicole Unice, She's Got Issues, page 107
I can only imagine the immediate difference in my daily life if it were the secure woman described above mothering, ministering, and partnering with my husband. And talk about a faith example for my children...this is the woman I want my sons to marry and my daughter to mature to be.
And so tonight, embracing His grace, I ask God to quiet the voices so I can hear His. I put today to bed and look forward with hope to a more secure tomorrow.