What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to simply be?
When I am asked to describe myself, I often reply that I am PWLawyerMom - I am a pastor's wife ("PW"), lawyer, and mom of three amazing kids. PWLawyerMom is an accurate description of my roles in society, but this is not who I am. I've been so consumed with "doing", that I have forgotten what it means to "be". This blog explores my journey as I find the freedom to simply be.
Still, God, you are our Father. We’re the clay and you’re our potter: All of us are what you made us. Isaiah 64:8 (MSG)
Chameleons are magnificent creatures. When a chameleon senses danger, a chameleon can change its skin color to blend in with its surroundings. For example, when a chameleon is surrounded by green leaves, it turns a green color that perfectly blends with the surroundings. This camouflage is necessary to protect them and keep them safe.
For years, I was a chameleon. In my heart, I sensed a constant danger – I feared that if anyone knew the real me, the me that no one else knew, they would not love me. I feared that people only loved me for who I was to them at the time - my friends loved me for my laughter and outgoing personality, my teachers loved me for my discipline and intellectual curiosity, my family loved me because I was eager to please and compliant.
For me, the greatest danger I faced was the danger of rejection. To avoid this danger, I camouflaged myself by adapting to the situation that I was in. At work, I was disciplined and hardworking. With friends, I was fun loving and entertaining. With people that were hurting, I was compassionate.
I was not intentionally deceiving others. Like a chameleon, the many colors that I changed between were a part of who I was. However, I was constantly changing colors to blend in so that I would be safe, accepted, valued and loved. Because I was so busy changing colors, I failed to be the color that God created me to be. I failed to be me.
God created me to be me. God created you to be you. When we embrace that God loves us as we are, we no longer have to live in fear – we are free to be. Isaiah 68:4 says that we are the clay and God is our potter. We are what God made us. Jeremiah 1:5a (MSG) says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.“
If I am so busy becoming who everyone else wants me to be, I fail to be the person God created me to be. God has holy plans for you, and God has holy plans for me. However, in order to fulfill those plans, I need to be the person God created me to be.
We are God’s workmanship – uniquely and beautifully made. You do not need to live in fear because you are loved, just as you are. You are free to be you and I am free to be me – we are free to be the beautiful creations that God desires for us to be.
Jesus, When I feel the need to blend in and be accepted, remind me that You love me just as I am. Remind me that I have a purpose, and that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Thank You for molding me into the person that You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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For years, my oldest son has been obsessed with football. This summer, before he started ninth grade, he begged to play for his high school team. My husband and I discussed it, and we agreed that our son could play. However, we both knew that there was a good chance that the practices in the grueling heat, getting tackled, and the hard work would eventually lead our son to decide football was not for him.
Just after school started, we had a parent’s meeting. In the meeting, the coach told us about his philosophy. He told us that he didn’t allow players to play based on skill alone. He wanted his players to work to play. The more effort a player put in during the practice, the more likely it was that he would play.
He then told us a story. He said that he had this skinny freshman that would not stop. He said every time the player missed a pass, he asked the coaches how he could do better. He said that when other players were resting, this player was asking someone to throw passes so …
I am constantly looking for tips and tricks to be more efficient. I recently discovered an app that allows me to organize my “To Do List” by categories. The app even has a challenge to complete a set number of tasks each day.
When I first started using the app, I was excited. I had categories for work, home, family, shopping, and travel. I wrote down all of the items I needed to do and assigned due dates. After the first week, I was going strong. I either checked off an item as complete (that is the most amazing feeling in the world – to cross an item off of a to do list), or I changed the due date to give me more time.
Fast forward a few weeks to this moment. I now have 33 uncompleted items on my personal list. I have even more items that need to be completed on my work list. When I look at the list, I feel my heartbeat race, and I feel the crushing weight of anxiety in my chest. The app that was supposed to help me feel more organized and efficient has become another item…
Instead, bless – that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9-10 (MSG)
My husband is a master gift giver. No matter what the occasion may be, he always surprises me. He makes a sport of it, and each year he strives to outdo himself. The gifts are not always expensive, but he works to find a personalized gift that meets a specific need that I have or that he knows I will enjoy.
We live in a culture that is cultivating consumerism. At Christmas, every advertisement is beautifully created to convince you at an emotional level that if you receive the perfect gift, you will be forever filled with joy. The advertisers are so skillful that they have even made me cry during diaper commercials!
My husband is an excellent gift giver because he doesn’t fall prey to the culture of consumerism. Instead of mindlessly purchasing the latest hot item, he carefully listens as I mention an item I may need or an activity I want to try. He then lovingly…