Photo Credit: Matt Fradd on Twitter
Fall…the time of year we need to gently remind other women that leggings are not pants. Or, as my husband likes to say, “Spandex is a privilege, not a right.” (When I told him this blog topic, he requested that I quote him – seriously.) We’ve all seen those women that share way more curves than any of us need to know about in public. Heck, maybe you’ve been one of those women. Or maybe you still are one of those women…consider this your intervention, and see WikiHow for a guide to appropriate leggings wear. For me, leggings are a great way to keep just a bit more warm. I usually pair mine with a skirt and tall boots in the winter. But never just leggings alone – I try to not make things what they aren’t.
Which led me to wonder…what else in my life am I trying to make something it’s not? Or in even easier terms, when do I “fake it ‘til I make it?” When am I not genuinely being myself?
I’m usually pulling it together at church. Singing worship songs really gets at my core, and I often get tears in my eyes simply because I’m reminded of how tired I am by not relying on Jesus, and also the impact of grace – because I really don’t deserve it. But by holding those emotions back, I’m not allowing myself the chance to breathe out all my worries and incompetencies, and give God the chance to really work at my soul and allow him in. So I can have less of those overwhelming, embarrassing crying moments – and instead have ecstatic worship where I’m crying out of happiness and being so grateful for this life. Now, if only I can get over being worried about people looking at me. Those middle school fears never leave a girl…
I also think about the number of times each day I am asked, “How are you?” We all usually give a quick quip, just to keep moving on. But there are always a few people who have a few more minutes and want a little more detail. I love to share what’s happening in my personal life. And I’m a great talker, but not such a great listener. I really wish I was better at getting others to speak, but I think that’s a tough skill – to make people feel comfortable within 15 seconds in a way that they open up about what’s really going on in their life. I also understand people have guards up – they’ve been taught to not make things too personal, or been burned in the past. I don’t know what that feels like, but I pray if you are one of those people, you have at least a couple confidantes you can really let it all out with.
So we’re all pretty good at faking being ok and just pushing through day-to-day circumstances when something very difficult may be going on in our life. But on the flip side, when DO I genuinely feel like I AM being myself? My StrengthsFinder strengths include qualities like achiever, responsibility, discipline. I feel like a rock star when I’m accomplishing tasks with a high level of accuracy and impact: whether that is through projects at work or at home. I also feel a high level of awesomeness when I’m with dear friends and having authentic conversations, typically resulting in solving problems with prayer and a difficult, but necessary, action. I also feel happy emotions when I am spending time with family. Anytime baby O smiles at me or laughs really fills my soul. When I let go of my worries and anxieties about what I should be doing, or how something might fail, or how someone might perceive me, I feel more at ease to be the woman God created me to be.
In sum, I’m learning it all comes down to not worrying what others think of you, and having a genuine interest in others, just like Jesus. I’m reminded of John 3:30 – “He must increase and I must decrease.” So give a little more love to others, which will rejuvenate yourself; and don’t make things what they aren’t. And for the love: cover your backside up with a skirt or dress, not just leggings.
Jesus, Thank you for the way you’ve made me and others. We are all made in your likeness in some way, and I get giddy when I think about the ways I love others around me, and how that is a reflection of you. I’m looking forward to the days in heaven when I get to see both my and others personality reflected in a totally pure way, as we all worship you. Send your Holy Spirit by my side with gentle reminders to put others needs before mine, and to have a focus of what you want for my life.
When was a time you felt totally like yourself or in-tune with God, as a result of not worrying about how others would perceive you?