Just Be You

This morning I had two loads of laundry that needed to get finished. In addition I had to hand wash six dance costumes that the girls informed me about last night at 10. I am not a laundry guru. I literally had to pull up a YouTube video on how to hand wash a dance costume. Seriously, that’s embarrassing! Now they are drip drying in the laundry room and I honestly don’t think they will be dry by tomorrow morning. To keep me occupied while doing these chores, I often listen to podcasts. My favorite of late is the Happy Hour by Jamie Ivey. If you haven’t listened to her, do so. She is amazing! I recently read her book, “If you only knew,” and I loved it. I started to binge listen to her podcast and now I’m hooked!
Today I listened to an interview Jamie had with Sally Lloyd-Jones a few years ago. For those unfamiliar with her, as I was until this morning, she is a children’s story book writer. She wrote the book, “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” I have heard about this bible and never really thought much of it. Today after the podcast I bought the book off Amazon.  Even though the interview was conducted several years ago, I’m blown away that God used it to speak to me today. Literally right where I’m at. His knowledge of my path and what I need is breathtaking. How is that even possible?
I have longed inside to be a writer for many years.  I of course never really believed I could accomplish this task, so I never really tried. Today I listened to that podcast and Sally talked about her doubt when she was trying to write her book. She said something profound that really motivated me. She said something like, “If I don’t try to write now, what will I tell my grandchildren? That I one day almost wrote a book, but didn’t.” OK, that hit me hard. Then later in the morning, I met the author of the book, “Black Hearts,” and heard her struggles in trying to get published. It was as if God was saying to me, try. Just try.
I’ve always felt that I’m just not good enough to try. I would look at others who I admire and read their writing, and be like, I’m nothing like them. I would often compare my start to their finish. That’s kinda unfair to me. The path is the promise; it is the stuff the good is made out of. I always tell my kids, and I used to tell the kids I taught and coached, it’s often our failures that teach us the most. They are often our biggest push for success. But they really suck! And they aren’t fun to go through. It’s much easier to avoid them, rather than pursue the path that will likely be hard and painful. But if I don’t try, what will I tell my grandkids? “One time I almost started a podcast, but didn’t.”
The game of comparing will always leave you empty. You will never measure up to everyone. When I was going through the throes of teen insecurity, I remember my mom telling me there will always be someone better, prettier, or smarter than you. All you can be is you. Did God ask me to write only if I’m better than so and so? No! God asked me to write because he has gifted me and wants me to use my talents. The parable of the talents speaks loudly to me today. In the parable, each servant was given their measure of talents and it was up to them to use their talents in the way they wanted to. But when the master came back, he wanted a return on his investment. The amount he gave, he wanted it to be used. God has given me these talents. I know I’m not as good as others. But I don’t have to be. That’s the beauty of our Creator. He gives to me the amount he needs me to have. I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else.
When I think about great musicians, this concept is so evident. I love the Christian band, Mercy Me. But I also love Bon Jovi. Mike loved (and I mean crazy, loved) Prince. I really didn’t like his music. Through Mike’s love of Prince, I have come to appreciate his talent and there are certain songs I enjoy of his. But the messages he spoke gave Mike hope during his teen years when he was trying to kill himself. Prince actually spoke about God to Mike. Okay, wow! I would never have heard God from Prince music until Mike interpreted what he heard. So… it just goes to show you that God will use you in the way he sees fit. It is not ours to control. We get the freedom to let go and let God.
So even though I’m crazy scared, even though I don’t feel equipped, God will equip me to create this blog and my podcast. He will open the ears to my words to those he wants to. I will not be for everyone. But God isn’t calling me to be for everyone. He is calling me to act, try, attempt, give it my best. The rest is up to him! Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!
Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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