Let’s STAND OUT!

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This is my oldest daughter (center) and her two very good friends.  We were laughing together on the afternoon I snapped this picture because they had gone to school looking like this.  Dressed almost the exact same.  You almost wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.  On this day these three girls really “fit in” with the crowd.

Do you ever want to just blend in and not bring any attention to yourself?

Do you ever want to just do what people “think” you should do?  Stay the status quo so you don’t have to answer anyone’s questions or face their critique?

I’m a stay-at-home mom, but that isn’t what defines me or makes me the special person that I am.  However, after 15 years at home it’s become increasingly harder and harder to define what exactly makes me special.  Somewhere along the way, lines got blurred and I sort of morphed into this vision of what stay-at-home mom meant to the greater community, not necessarily what it meant to me.  I sort of “fit in” with the stay-at-home mom’s.  Like the funny picture of the teenagers above – you wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick me out of the crowd.  I just blend in.

I think of all the roles God has asked me to play over my lifetime, that of mom is the most important.  It has been hard and exhausting and terribly emotional.  But the most beautiful too.  Now that my children no longer need 24 hour care, I’ve had moments to think about me.  Where does this put me now that my role as mother is changing into something different?

I think I’ve blended into the community for so long, I’m not sure how I make the first step to stand out again.  To take a step towards something that makes me happy outside of motherhood.  To find that next God given path to utilize my gifts for the greater good of the world.

TERRIFIED

This is the best word to describe the thought of trying to stand out in this world again.  So many negative phrases roll around in my head:  you’re not smart enough, people will think you are silly, you won’t have time for your family…..because it’s way easier to just stay the status quo and not ruffle ANY feathers.  But is that what God wants me to do?  It’s become increasingly evident that for me, he wants something different.

You see I have this idea.

For years it has seemed the most ridiculous idea.  So much so, that I have never once shared it with anyone but God.  Not even to my husband – my best friend.  I’m just not ready to publicly speak the idea out loud.  Because if I do I will then be held accountable to make it happen.  But somehow it keeps filtering back to the front of my mind.  Where I ponder the “what ifs” and how I would make it work.  This idea terrifies me.  What if people think it’s dumb?  What if I think I can do it but crash and fail?  What if my friends and family are embarrassed by my idea?  It’s so much easier to stuff it back down in my brain for another day.

There is a book of the bible about a woman who had to trust God’s plan as she had to stand out for the good of the people in huge ways.  It’s Esther.  If you’ve never read this story I would highly recommend it.  This chapter is about a Jewish woman named Esther who was chosen to be in King Xerxes harem.  The king was so attracted to her that he made her queen.  God placed Esther on this throne so that she could help save an entire nation of Jewish people.  It was because of her courageous acts to approach the king, that allowed these people to be saved.

Before she went before the king, Mordecai reminds her that if she does nothing God will save these people through other means but that she and her family will not survive.  He says to her….

….And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?  -Esther 4:14

God is so faithful in our lives.  He wants good for us.  He wants peace for us.  He works for that peace and good each day.  Sometimes God-given opportunities are provided to us so that we can be his hands and feet in this world.  By side-stepping our fear and using courage to take one tiny step forward and then another, we will be standing out and accomplishing that idea, that dream, or that thing we seemed so scared of.

Roles do change in our lives.  And that’s okay.  Some last longer than others, but we must remember to stay open to the idea that there will come a time when we are asked to change paths.  To move in a different direction.  Not to fear the unknown but to have courage to take one step at a time onto that new path.  Because who knows may be this isn’t our idea that we share with God, but really God opening up and sharing his plans with us!  That it was his plan all along that we find our destiny in something new!  What role is God asking you to courageously move into?  Who knows, may be God has prepared you for this very moment.  To stand out for such a time as this!!  Seize that moment like a whole nation of people depend on it!

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