Category Archives: Journaling

Becoming

Before a painter put brush to canvas, he sees his picture mentally … If you think of .: in terms of a painting, what do you see? Is the picture you think worth painting? … You create yourself in the image you hold in your mind. – Thomas Dreier.

We all have goals in life.  Some goals are material, others are spiritual.  Honestly, I concentrate more on my physical world than my spiritual ones.  I am in the middle of raising my family, I would like a bigger house, I need to bring in a regular income to our family.  There are so many other things that my mind obsesses about.  But when I boil down who I really want to be, it all comes down to being Godly.  My goals consist of writing a book for women based on my own spiritual experiences, I want to minister to those who believe that they are not “good enough.”  I believe this is the calling God has placed upon me.  I know things will happen all in His time.  Honestly though, I am not doing a whole lot to make that happen.

I believe the scripture in Phil. 1 that states, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  I know God will finish what He began in me.  But I am not doing a whole lot to help that along.  In my defense, it is hard to find 3 hours of solitude a day when raising four daughters, two of whom are still at home.  And now summer is here and all four of them are with me.  And did I mention my little ones wake up as soon as the first bird sings and the first light breaks?  (Case in point:  It is not even six and I hear small footsteps coming down the hallway).

It seems my life is going so fast that I barely have time to breathe.  I give of myself until I crash with exhaustion.  But I believe that God has began a good work within me.  In my time with Him, I get a little vision of what that person should look like.  She would be an author and speaker giving testimony without fear and with fire.  She has much more energy than I currently do.

Many times I get so wrapped up in pursing my goals, I forget who I supposed to become.  I get wrapped up in:   Must blog, must go to conferences, must build my following, must write the rest of my book, –that I loose track of who I want to become.

So I took so time the other day a doodled about goals, who I am, who I am to become.  I took a step back and instead of being in the middle of the race, I looked at what type of person the racer is, what they need in order to be nourished, and what they would look like on the inside and out.  I took a mental look at what my final painting would look like.  I took a look at all the stages in between.  I discovered I am too wrapped up in the “got to” of life.  When I boil it down to who I want to be and what that will look like, I want to pursue holiness and live in a way that radiates that.  It is that simple.

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The Pain of Beauty

As women, we go through great pains in order to be Beautiful.  Although I am not much of a froo-froo girl, I still endure my fair share of torture.  Take those eyebrow waxings for example–ouch!  And although pedicures are a way to pamper oneself, I have to admit they hurt a bit.  Then, we don elaborate jewelry before we leave the house and have a ritual of putting on make-up every morning, oh, and the hair.  Living in the South where “big hair” rules, taking the time to do hair can take up most of the morning.

We do all this to feel beautiful.  It is a woman’s yearning to be the Beauty.  To feel like she is Beautiful.  John Eldridge in Captivating describes a woman as Beautiful when she is “fully present” and at “rest” within herself.

But how does one come to be at rest within themselves?  John Eldridge answers this question as well.  He states (paraphrase), “that a woman becomes Beautiful when she knows who she is.”

About eight years ago I had no idea who I was.  I really had no idea of my own identity.  There are many pages in my journal from that time where the words, “Who am I?” are sketched across the top or off to the side.  I felt lost without an identity.  I didn’t know who I was, yet, I felt that I was more than just a wife and mother.  The questions of “Who am I?”  and “What is my purpose in life?” haunted me day and night.  It had to be more than just who I was in relation to other people.

I was not at peace or at rest within myself.  I was anything but beautiful.  In fact, I ducked and dodged other people because I thought I had nothing of myself to give.  No light to bear.

During those years I hated myself intensely.  I hated the void of who I had become.  I lived in fear of being asked to do things, and more fearful of just being a wallflower and no one noticing I existed.  But wallflowers have to bloom, right?

Not necessarily, I think blooming is a choice we make.  We have to pursue the blooming process.  I did.  I wanted more than what I had, so I chose to learn to bloom.

I started hearing God through the voices of my children.  They taught me so many lessons during that time.  They taught me that it is okay to involve God in the minute details of my life.  That if I ask God for something as simple as to make the bees in our yard go away He will.  They also taught me there is Beauty in imperfection.  That was a very important lesson for me to learn.

I also discovered that God knew my name and that I undoubtedly belong to Him.

The Psalms repeatedly speak of God pulling the Psalmist up from the mire or the pit of despair so that others can see and be amazed at what God can do.  It takes a journey of dark to light to have a testimony.  Those who have made this journey can bear so much more light to those who have never walked the darkened road before.

“Weeping may continue through the night , but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

It is God’s desire to pull you up out of the pit of despair.  He wants His glory to be seen through you.  God’s desire is for you to reflect the ultimate Beauty–His Beauty.

What “pit of despair” has God pulled you out of?  I want to hear your story.  

Sticks and Stones

My daughters who are three and four years old are into a stage of name calling.  “You’re a tiny baby” one of them will say.  Of course, the other then retorts with, “No, you’re the tiny baby.”

This eventually leads to the one who is younger by only a year running to me and saying, “Elle is calling me a tiny baby.”

Usually this ends in me reprimanding them both for name calling.  Lately though, I have taken it to a different level.  My first tactic was to say something along the lines of, “Well, mommy says you’re a big girl.”  But then, after a few times of saying that, it dawned on me:  What does my youngest daughter, Caroline,  believe about herself?  She seems to be so easily swayed by either my definition of her being a “big girl” verses her sister’s definition of her being a “tiny baby.”  So I changed my tactic again.  When Caroline would run to me with the latest name she had been called by her sister Elle, I would stop and ask her, “What does Caroline believe about herself?”  At first this conversation required prompting, as Caroline would just look at me like I had two heads.  “Does Caroline believe she is a tiny baby or a big girl?”

“I’m a big girl,”  she would exclaim.

“Then you don’t need to worry with what your sister thinks or calls you,” would be my reply to her.

So simple of an argument, but yet, so relevant.  Even as adults, we often let other people’s opinions of who we are, what type of person we are, what we are good at, what we are not good at define us.  We have to remember though, that everyone’s perception of who we are is influenced by who they are and the lenses of life through which they view the world.  Those lenses are colored by their own past, things people have said to them, their own views and life experiences.  Any remarks they would make you is from their own perception.

So if someone should tell me, “Holly, you are horrible.”  I should not give much credence to it.  It is just their perception. On the same token, should they say, “Holly, you are wonderful.”  It should not matter.  It should not matter because I should have my own definition of who I am.  If I have one editor tell me I am a good writer, yet another tell me I need to give it up.  Who do I believe.  I believe what I am told from the Spirit of God — He tells me to write.  So I do.  Sticks and stones.  .  .

This was a struggle for me for a long time.  I have many journal entries where the phrase, “Who am I?” is doodled in the margin.  I had no sense of myself.  I went to college in my thirties to try to find myself.  I allowed my paranoia of what other people thought of me define me.

Through it all, I kept hearing the voice of God calling on gentle breezes, “You are mine.”  For a long time I argued that of 6 billion people on Earth, God could not possible know who I was.  I was wrong.

A voice that said, “You are mine, and I am calling you to me,” persisted.  For many years I did not allow myself the believe the voice of God telling me I was of value.

“I am calling you to me, and you are to be a light bearer to others.”

No way.  Not me.  You got the wrong person.  I can’t be a light bearer.  I have too much darkness in me to bear light,” my thoughts would reply back.

Slowly, and through a couple of traumatic events, God revealed Himself to me.  He does know my name and He does believe that I am of value.  I have worth to Him.  So much so, that He has pursued me for years.  He has been patient with me.  Through listening to what God believed about me, my definition of who I am started to change.  Casting Crowns song, “The Voice of Truth” became a mantra for me.  If I believed God was truth, I had no choice but to submit my own beliefs to be in alignment with His.  I had to believe for myself what God believed of me.

I am worth fighting for.

I am worthy.

I am a light bearer.

I make mistakes.

He delights in me.

He raised me up.

I am valuable.

I am loved.

What do you believe about yourself?