Jun 30, 2016
IT’S OKAY TO BE AVERAGE. I’ve been believing a lie.
Faith, Fruitful Summer, Motherhood, My Books, Personal
It’s okay to be average. It’s okay to love something and not be the best at it. It doesn’t mean you or your gift are worthless because you aren’t the “best.” It’s okay if your talent or passion isn’t a business. And it’s okay if your business isn’t the “best” either!
I caught myself comparing my business to a friend’s last Friday. I said to Ari, “Her business is probably doing better than mine…”
Re-writing a book has been [insert all the antonyms of “easy”]. I’ve been sitting here at my computer, battling with words and insecurities. “Why is this so hard for me? I wish I could write books like her… ”
How could I write about friendship when I’m not perfect at it? “I’m not an expert—why try?”
In my own kitchen, “Sorry dinner is too spicy, and that we have the same things every week. I’m not the best at doing family dinners.”
Ari stopped me:
He prayed for God to give me lots of words.
He ate every bite of dinner.
And to my comment comparing my business to someone else’s, he said this: “Lara, money envy is usually pride.”
It hits hard, and it shatters the lies.
We miss so much feeling like we have to be an expert or better than everyone else, don’t we?
I shared in my weekly Facebook Live yesterday about the freedom found in being “average” and the lies we believe that keep us from that freedom.
We falsely believe we have to:
do it all
have it all
be an expert
be better than someone else
be the best
have it all together
And if we aren’t, or don’t, we hesitate.
We don’t move forward.
We don’t send it, say it, do it, or surrender.
We just sit in the lies.
An email landed in my inbox this morning, and It made me see I’ve been believing another one lately. I didn’t know I needed the words I’m about to share with you till they left me in a puddle of tears here at my desk. With her permission, I’m sharing an excerpt. I hope these words encourage you too.
I know you have believed lies friend.
We all have.
You know what though?
You also have listened to truth.
Just look back.
Look at your marriage. You listened and pressed into the truth.
Look at your walk with Jesus. You listened to truth and have grown so much.
Look at Ari. He knows Jesus sweet friend.
You might have listened and operated under some lies, yet you have listened to truth as well.
You have listened to the voice of your Savior, and you have obeyed.
Goodness that is some ripe, rich, healthy fruit.
What if Grace’s big emotions, the struggle to connect with Sarah, and massive delay and starting over on your book have nothing to do with what you have done wrong.
Friend, what if all of this is about what you have done right??!!
What if your faith and your little by little has made you braver than you think?
What if your obedience has shown God that He can trust you with more?
Satan wants you to feel naked and shamed in your exposure of humanness. Yet the Bible says something totally different.
Genesis 2:25 says, “The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.”
God fully intended for us to be exposed without shame.
Only Satan tells us to hide.
I’ve been believing the lie that God isn’t faithful. I don’t say it, but I sure am acting like it lately. How easily I forget what He has done! I certainly don’t think I’ve listened as much as I should, or that I’ve done much right, but my friend encouraged me to see that His ways are always better than mine, and His ways lead to new life.
All of it, changed by truth.
I can take zero credit for the change in my life, but we are given a choice: believe the lies, or listen to the truth and try our best—through all our imperfections and times we plain old mess up. (Allllll the time for me!)
Lord, may I keep choosing truth over lies, and surrender over striving to be the best. And when I don’t, may I remember that your grace gives me freedom. Freedom from striving, performing, or having to be the best. It’s okay to be average. Like Moses, you don’t need me to be perfect to use me. You don’t call me to be the best, you just want my surrendered heart and hands.
And I’m so glad You aren’t done with me yet.
Oh my heart, this, thank you for this! This week has been marked with so many “how am I going to get it all done,” and not enough grace. Thank you for your words, for your heart and for allowing your readers in.
I am at lost for words. Earlier this morning, I literally cried, while confessing to God, how I believed the lies of Satan over God’s truth, His Word. I literally acknowledged that I received the false imaginations and the deceitful lies as truth and rejected God’s Holy truth all these years, which caused me to turn away from Him. I mean your honest confession has really got me stunned to know that I am not alone. Thank you Jesus Christ for your obedience to let your hair down and witness such a very delicate testimony. Those words your husband mentioned I will hold very dear to me. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I read some of my shameful confession by a beautiful woman of faith. Thank you! So much!!
So needed this right now!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I talk about progress over perfection all the time, but it is so hard to practice what we preach sometimes, isn’t it? It’s nice to hear someone else say – or write – something that relates to our own struggles, isn’t it? Cannot thank you enough for your honesty, sharing your heart, and relatable writing. Thankful for your blog and all you do, Lara!
Lara, I don’t even know you personally, but I love you, my sister in Christ. Your boldness in your witness for Christ is honorable. I remembering praying for a long time for certain blessings. God answered but I didn’t realize how unprepared I was for the blessing especially when it didn’t play out all smooth and pristine like I imagined it would. I found myself angry at God, full of guilt with a desire to run away from it all. But just as God was faithful in my past, he was faithful in my present and future. That time of pruning and growth was hard, but I can look back now and see how far I’ve come. We will always experience these periods of “ugly” growth but praise God there are more blessings on the other side and we are able to enjoy them more and more as we continue to grow. I love your progress over perfection saying as I am a recovering perfectionist but I also love my mentor’s saying, “I’ll take sloppy success over perfect failure!” – Hannah Keeley We have to start sloppy or we’ll never succeed. Hugs!
This really speaks to me because I’ve wanted to start a business for – I can’t even believe I’m saying this – 8 years. I started blogging about wedding planning then tried to start a mainstream blog; it’s always kind of felt like all my peers were making big strides – monetizing, creating products and brand partnerships – while I struggled to figure it out. I’ve always wanted to offer products through my website (tank tops, perhaps a fitness journal), but between my full-time job and now – as a mom – it feels like it may never happen. That said, I still love blogging and I have friends who are encouraging me to get back to it because they’ve enjoyed my blogging too. I recently got to design some t-shirts for my (real) job, and I’m finally designing that journal… though, figuring out printing and selling will likely take a whole year – HA! 🙂 All that say, this is so encouraging and it really gives me peace about where I am and what I’ve done. Such a lie to believe an online business validates me! Thank you so much for sharing this.
You do not know how much this blessed me. My largest client has not been pleased with some of my team’s work but they’ve given us no direction on what they want but say “they’ll know it when they see it.” It’s made me feel very insecure and yesterday I received an email from another team who said its was such a privilege to work with me. Little ol’ me…
And when I look at all God’s done in sustaining me, I have no choice but to trust Him. Thank you, sweet sister for sharing this with me. Much love to you and your lovely family. Keep shining, Laara!
This broke through to my heart. I have a dream that feels impossible for me to ever have. I spent years trying to make it happen, and now I am in a phase of life where it appears it will never happen. I have been tempted, as Sara to Abraham in Genesis, to offer up a solution that isn’t God’s will, but in my humaness, seems like a good plan. Your post reminded me not to believe the lies. Thank you.
OH YES! It is ENTIRELY easy to look at the things we think are going wrong and see them as wrong or bad or not the way they were intended……but I love the “what ifs”…..it is 100% TRUTH that the more we obey the more we are given! 🙂 You are beautiful and I LOVE reading your story!
AND AMEN to the fact that it’s ok to be average! 🙂 This needs to be all over the internet more! 🙂
Goodness, POW. Right in the chest. I’ve been grappling with the idea of starting my own creative side business and I just look at other people and think “Wow, there’s no room for me in this world – everyone else is already better and perfect.” Fear is gripping me as I sketch out plans and oscillate between being REALLY SUPER AMBITIOUS and feeling forlorn about how far I have to go to be “perfect.”
I need to trust in Him to take that first step. If this is my gift, if this is what I am meant to do, He will show me the way. The way may not be smooth and free of stones, but He’ll equip me with the hiking boots I need to conquer it.
Thank you. Take care of yourself – I’ll pray for you! Have a safe weekend. 🙂
Oh the truth that is raining down over here- This hit HOME for me so hard.
We’re fighting our way out a tough financial spot that I KNOW we were put in for good reason and to grow our spirits – but oh that comparison… and it does all come down to pride…
Wise man, that Ari you married 🙂
Love and blessings to you all!!
INCREDIBLE. These words are so good to my soul! Thanks for this post Lara, and to whoever wrote that wise email to you!
Thank you SO much for this Lara, and thank you for giving a beautiful example of how to relentlessly pursue the Lord! You are inspiring.
Lara, I had tears rolling down my face as I read this. I have felt so inadequate and so helpless for so long, feeling not good enough, not doing enough, not working hard enough, and the list goes on and on. My husband lost his job and I have been working feverishly 12 hours a day for over the last year, trying to take care of everything, and so all of the dreams of starting my own creative business have just fallen by the wayside, and I just feel like I have lost all faith. Thank you so much for the post. Your husband is a very wise man.
You have put me to tears. I needed this right now. I thought I was the only one that feels like this. Thank you for being so truthful and open.
Thank you for sharing. It is just what I needed to hear, a reminder that God’s grace is sufficient.
Always the right words, at the right time. Thank you, for being vulnerable, for allowing God to use you to speak to all of us. Thank you.
It’s a nice reminder not just that I’m not the only one battling this but that I can be successful too (just like you are successful [with your family, in your relationships, with your business])
THANK YOU! <3
Oh my goodness. I’m here in tears, too. What beautiful truth spoken by your friend. Naturally, I never think about what I may have done right. But wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. What a sweet blessing of truth! <3
It’s so uplifting that I stumbled upon this post; this exact subject has been on my mind lately. I’m fairly new to blogging and I’ve been putting off creating content regularly for a long time despite having my website for a year. One of the main things that holds me back – perfectionism. Wanting to be perfect before even attempting to try. Before gaining any kind of experience. Wanting things to be perfect from the get-go. God has put this exact message on my heart, too, that I’m not doing this to be the best – I’m doing this for his glory. Keep posting things like this <3