Happy Thanksgiving to You!

It’s been a week, friends. I did a wonderful round-trip to CA for a conference and then spent the rest of the week on the couch with a virus. Ugh!

I couldn’t miss out on telling you how I feel about you, though. I’m thankful for you. Truly. Even though I’ve only met a handful of our community in person, I love knowing that we’re journeying together.

I’m praying that today is a day filled with love for you, knowing that our Jesus loved us most, but also full of the love of friends and family. I’m proud to count you as both!

Much Love,

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The Secret Reason for Your Insecurity

Have you ever met someone and experienced an instant connection? I felt that way as I sat across from Sharon Miller at a meeting recently. When she introduced herself, I found out that she has a book releasing this month, and when I read this post, I realized I had to share with you. Y’all she’s our sister from another mister! Another woman on the journey to break up with perfect.

Make sure to read to the end and leave a comment for the giveaway. Her publisher is generously donating three copies of her new book, so your chances of winning are terrific! Please welcome Shannon!

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Several years ago I found myself in a surprising situation. I was a lifelong Christian, growing in my faith, and following God’s call into ministry. I was writing and speaking and teaching women about the Bible, and from the outside everything looked easy and great.

Except that it wasn’t.

On the inside, I had become increasingly fragile and insecure. I wasted loads of mental energy on comparing, striving, and clamoring for affirmation. I needed to be seen, I needed to succeed, and I needed to be the best. And as a result, it sucked the joy right out of my life, even the joy of my calling.

Once I diagnosed the problem, I set about the work of fixing it. Like many Christian women, I devoured books on insecurity. I read blog posts and articles, listened to sermons and podcasts, and I meditated on my identity in Christ. I did all the “right Christian things,” but at the end of it all, I realized something:

None of it helped.

All of those messages, and all of that truth, had barely even scratched the surface. It’s not that I struggled to believe God’s promises—that I am loved, rescued, and delighted in—because I believed them whole-heartedly. Instead, something else was going on underneath my insecurity, and it took me several years to figure it out.

The Two Causes of Insecurity

Over time, through a lot of prayer and discernment, I discovered there are two root causes of insecurity. The first is one we talk about all the time: low self-esteem. We can define low self-esteem as an inability to see ourselves as God sees us, and it is real and painful, and God has an answer for it: His truth.

When we struggle with degrading lies about who we are, we can run to biblical truth about God and about ourselves. We can also surround ourselves with truth speakers who can declare God’s love into our hearts, especially on those days when we are unable to believe it ourselves. This is, in fact, how Christians usually attend to insecurity, and it’s important.

However, there is a second cause of insecurity that we almost never talk about, which is self-preoccupation. Self-preoccupation places you at the center of everything, which means everything hinges on you, and everything is ABOUT you. Your parenting, your job, that woman who looked at you funny in the lobby—it’s all a referendum on your value and your worth. And as a result, the stakes become impossibly high.

When everything is somehow about you, then your security constantly hangs in the balance.

But here is the trick about self-preoccupation: the solution to it is different than low self-esteem. If you respond to self-focus with heaps of affirmation—even biblical affirmation—it only reinforces the problem. Even when your self-focus is positive and godly, your vision is still locked on something inherently insecure—yourself—instead of fixing your gaze on the rock of Christ.

That was my problem. My self-esteem wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t really the problem.

My problem was my focus.

I wasn’t enjoying the freedom and confidence of living for Christ, because I wasn’t living for Christ. I was living for me. My eyes were fixed on me. My marriage, my parenting, my appearance—even my faith—had slowly turned inward, and I had become the center of it all.

I think it’s time to name this brokenness in our culture and in ourselves. For many of us, the cause of our insecurity isn’t simply low self-esteem, but a misplaced focus on self. We have forgotten the center of the gospel, which has taken all the power out of it. Our faith has grown small and weak, because it isn’t about God, but us.

The answer, then, is not simply remembering who we are in Christ, but also remembering that we are not the center of the story. Everything in our lives—everything that we have, that we are, and that we are called to—is all meant to point away from us and toward the glory of God. And once we get this, and live it, it’s freedom.

Adapted from Sharon’s newly released book, Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

The Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Free of Me, leave a comment sharing your response to Sharon’s powerful insight. If you’re living life on the fly, simply say, “I’m focused on Christ!” (US and Canada addresses only please. Sorry about that to my peeps who live on another continent! I love you dearly!!)

About Sharon

Sharon Hodde Miller is an author, speaker, pastor’s wife, PhD, and mom. She is a regular contributor to She Reads Truth and Propel, she blogs at SheWorships.com, and she is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

 

 

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You Are Loved

This is the last in the series, but don’t miss this one. It’s what I need to hear every day! Watch the video below or click here to watch it on the website.


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I’m taking a blogging break in August, but I want to leave you with some encouragement to get you through on days you need it. If you’ll click here and scroll down a bit, there are recordings of interviews I’ve done. I’m obsessed with things I can listen to while I’m cleaning the kitchen, so I hope you’ll enjoy these too!

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What the World Needs Now

Remember the old Burt Bacharach song? I’m dating myself, but some things never change! Watch the video below (or click here to watch on the website) for some truth that just might get you through the days of summer when you’re hot.

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Did you know there are lots of freebies on the site just for you? Click here to read some of my favorite devotions and top blog posts. I hope they encourage you!

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The Land of the Truly Free

I hope you had a happy Fourth of July! Watch the video below or click here to watch on the website for some truth about true freedom.

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I’m booking speaking events now for 2018 (there are a couple spaces left in late 2017 too), and I’d love to serve the women at your church!

Here’s a message that I’ve lived out and then shared recently:

How to Flip a Flop: Recovering from a Crushing Fail 
As unique as we all are, we all have one thing in common. We’ve all experienced failures and flops. They’re definitely painful, but they don’t have to be fatal to the story of our lives. From the lessons learned in a difficult year of her life and the biblical account of Peter’s denials, Amy teaches you to:

  • Exhale with the relief found in embracing the truth that “you’re only human”.
  • See flops and failures as a chance to grow closer to God and others instead of disqualifiers to relationship.
  • Experience the confidence and joy of knowing two sure ways to flip your flops.

If you think that message or one of my others would meet the needs at your church, you can click on the graphic below for a PDF of my speaker information to download and take to her. It would be wonderful to have face- time with some of our community here!

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Embracing HimPerfect You

Welcome to my blog! If you’re visiting from today’s devotion, Why Your Brand of Unique is Perfect, I’m so glad you’re here. You came at just the right time to join a little series I’m doing. Watch the video below (or click here to watch it on the website), and then I have a free gift to tell you about. 🙂


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The video you just watched explained my word “HimPerfect”, but I’ve written a whole series of devotions about the process called 5 Days to Himperfection. If you’d like to see the rest of the Summer Slice series AND get 5 Days to Himperfection as a  free gift, click on the graphic below, and follow the directions. I’m happy that you’re joining our community of reforming perfectionists!

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What Makes Sweet Sweeter?

Summer is sweet, isn’t it? But it’s also buuuuuusssssyyyy! I’m going to do a series called Summer Slice : 2 Minute Truths until the end of July that’s a series of 2 minute videos with a big truth from Scripture in each to keep you going.

Know what makes sweet taste even sweeter? Surprisingly, it’s not sugar! Watch the video embedded below or click here to watch on the website and find out what makes sweet sweeter.


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Are you looking for a summer study that you can do at your own pace? You can study Breaking Up with Perfect for FREE right here on the website!

Here’s what one friend who did the study had to say… “I am not alone. Other people think like me. There have been times I’ve been reading with tears rolling down my face. I have wondered how a person I have never met got inside my head and wrote it all down!” ~Desiree

Click here to see all the details and get started.

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For the Woman Trying to Do It All

I’m so excited today to introduce you to my friend Katy McCown! Just like all of us, she has imperfect days sometimes–those days that seem overwhelming and un-doable. Katy’s found some solutions though, and I’m excited to share her perspective and help.

Please welcome Katy!

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I wandered into the kitchen while the sky was still black. The hood pulled over my head signaled my desire to be left alone.

Yes, the day beckoned. Yes, I was awake. But yes, I would have much rather stayed in bed.

The hours gave way to demands that included scouting the spider outside the window, searching the internet to find out how to unclog a toilet, and crafting six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my little tribe.

Oh, and when I say spider outside my window, I mean a spider as big as my hand that basically held us all hostage inside the house. And when I say a clog in my toilet, I mean the kind where a plunger just won’t cut it and it may mean investing in a plumbing snake.

I also studied the owners’ manual for my van to identify the warning light above the steering wheel and decide how to make it go away. And with half of my crew either sick or sleep-deprived I found plenty of teachable moments along the way, too.

We all have days like these don’t we?

You wish for more hands on your body or minutes in the day or brain cells to spread across the endless demands. Your thoughts feel scattered and you may even wonder if what you’re doing actually matters. We long to make a difference and end each day satisfied, sure of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re not always sure that’s possible.

Years ago, on a day much like this one, I wrote a prayer. A prayer that I’ve prayed many times since then.

This prayer brings me I peace and confidence today.

I thought maybe it might do the same for you …

Lord Jesus, my day belongs to you. 

I expect You will provide ample time for me to accomplish all that You desire. Align my direction with Your desires. 

I commit every minute to You, that I may work willingly and with all my might. Set my pace that it may compliment, not compete with, Your purposes. 

I’m excited to see what You have planned for me today. I trust You will give me all I need and use every moment, big and small. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Days when nothing seems to go right are not wasted.

In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. Theses days are an invitation to fill our lives with God to the point we’re overflowing into the world around us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).

I eventually pulled the hood off my head and tackled the day. I met surprises and challenges, but I finished the day resolved and encouraged.

As I prayed this prayer and trusted God to lead me and use me for His glory, He filled even the most basic of activities with His purpose and power and love.

If you’re praying this prayer with me today, leave a comment! Let’s pray together. Or if you know someone trying to do it all, share this prayer with them.

Your Life: Simplified

I’m also excited to share with you my new online course, Your Life: Simplified, Living Focused When You’re Trying to do It All.

In this 5-session online course, we’ll dive deeper into the prayer above and find practical ways to apply it. We’ll also learn how to throw off what hinders us and live each day free, focused and fulfilled.

You can pre-order this course today at yourlifesimplifiedcourse.com. But don’t wait! The discounted pre-order price will only be available for a few more days!

I’d love to share this journey with you as together we learn to simplify our lives and live focused on God’s glory and purposes.

 

Katy McCown is a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries, wife to NFL quarterback, Luke McCown, and mom to 6 energetic (sometimes wild) kids. Katy left her job as a television news reporter to join Luke on their adventure in the National Football League. Twelve years, 6 kids and 5 teams later, it’s safe to say the road has been anything but predictable. Along the way, Katy has learned to hold on to God’s promise in Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

Katy recently launched the She Laughs Conference and seeks to empower women to walk the established steps the LORD lays out for them, even if everything else feels shaky.

The everyday Katy loves a strong cup of coffee, or two. She works hard to perfect the art of pushing multiple children on swings all at once (without anyone falling out), and her car is never clean. Never ever.

Connect with Katy on her blog at www.katymccown.com.

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