Today on Facebook I ran across this quote:
“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
The authorship of this quote is questionable. It has been attributed to each of the Theresa/Teresa trio of saints – Theresa of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta – but many suspect it in fact wasn’t written by any of them and was actually written by persons unknown in the 1970’s.
Regardless of who wrote it, these beautiful words fill me with hope and courage to spread my wings and soar! It also has me thinking about who I am in God and am I using the gifts I been given to live out God’s call in my life? I mean, really truly use them to the best of my abilities?
Do I own who I am as God’s Beloved?
One of the recurring themes resonating with me in a lot of what I have been reading lately is that I am called by God. As such I should live out HIS calling for my life, not what other PEOPLE’s expectations say I should be (based on societal or cultural norms). I don’t and shouldn’t be hiding my light under a bucket, so to speak, in order to appease the comfort of others.
I think this is something that I truly struggle with. It’s like I’ve been conditioned to champion those around me without really realizing what my own worth is or that I have something valuable to contribute. Maybe all the comments over the years about not having a bachelor’s degree have really left me thinking of my talents as not enough.
Sometimes my gender has caused comments to be made about what I should or shouldn’t be doing, or where I “fit” into things. These have also left a mark on me because I think a lot of times it is in our female nature to want to nurture and promote others around us, even at the expense of ourselves.
But in the wake of realizing, yet again, I am more than just what a piece of paper or my peers might say about me, I am going to now name what I am as a reminder to myself that God has been very gracious to me and has blessed me with many gifts. Own who I am as God’s beloved, so to speak, in no particular order:
- I am intelligent and actually quite educated. Although the only degree I have says “Associate’s” I have an incredibly curious nature that has lead me to serious study of many different things as well as I have earned almost three quarters of a Bachelor’s degree in Business(Accounting).
- I am a disciple – I am hungry for God and have a lifelong thirst to seek his ways to become more like Jesus in my daily life. The C.S. Lewis Institute was, and continues to be a great guide in helping seek paths of continued growth in my spiritual life as I engage with Scripture and draw ever closer in relationship with God the Father.
- I am a leader – both at work and at church, I have been blessed to serve as a leader in many different ways. There is a quote that hangs in my office by Sheryl Sandberg that says, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” I agree with that whole heartedly and try to live that out with my staff.
- I am kind hearted – Too much so at times. I go out of my way to try to help others. I can’t stand to see the commercials on tv that have starving children or caged, sad animals. I am a people pleaser with a servants heart.
- I am an accountant – no degree, but with seventeen years of full time experience in this field, it is safe to say that I am accomplished and competent in this area.
- I am a singer – I LOVE to sing. It can be in the shower, around the house, or in the car. I also sing with our church’s praise team. In high school I was in choir, musicals, and sang the National Anthem at some of the football games.
- I am a writer – I have written for this blog, and I have written a few sermons. I love expressing my thoughts on paper and wish I had the time to do that more often. While I don’t have a following, my pieces have been picked up by a few outlets over the years. I would love to someday write a book, if I could just figure out what I need to be writing about!
- I am a student of theology – born and raised Catholic, but converted as an adult to Mennonite, I love studying the bible, biblical events, historical church history, specific denominational beliefs, the wider church as a whole and the early church. All of it. I can’t get enough of it. I love to see how God weaves things together and specifically how women have fit into his plans.
- I am creative – well there are the whole singing and writing things, but I also love to knit, crochet, do needlepoint, and pretend that someday I will scrapbook. When my son was younger I enjoyed making his birthday cakes and valentine’s day boxes.
- I am a teacher– Both at work and at times at church. I love digging into material and then helping others to learn it as well. I have never been the type to hoard information to myself. I love sharing!
I have never been comfortable talking about myself in these kinds of terms and often downplay myself or my different roles. So this is reaffirming to myself that I am already ENOUGH exactly as I am if I take the time to remember this.
There isn’t anything that I need to prove, nothing that I need to earn before I can be taken seriously. This also isn’t all that I am. God has blessed each of us in more ways than we can ever list completely.
We all have our labels that we go through life with. I am a wife, a mother, an accounting manager, a praise team leader, etc. However, I am so much more than these labels.
I am God’s beloved.
And so are you.