Monday, April 30, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
By Shayne Moore
Julia Child, the famous chef who changed how American women cook and think about food, began her career when she was 50.
Nancy Pelosi, the sometimes controversial Congresswoman, first ran for elected office when she was 47.
Miucci Prada, the world-famous fashion designer who changed the way women dress and think of beauty, delivered her first fashion collection at the age of 39.
As a stay-at-home mother of three young children I used to suffer in silence. I felt isolated from the world. I knew, of course, I had influence in my own home and with my own children. And I loved my job. I loved being the mom. I didn’t want anyone else but me changing diapers, making meals, and sitting on the floor doing puzzles. Yet, something nagged from deep within. I knew there was more to me than domestic goddess.
I watched as friends, both men and women, grew up into their lives. They created businesses, received advanced degrees, traveled the world, and slowly built solid and respectable careers.
When my youngest went to first grade I panicked. What was I qualified to do? I had been an at-home mom for almost 15 years. Who would hire me to do anything? I felt behind. I was starting from scratch and I was almost 40 years old.
One night while visiting my in-laws in Dallas I could not sleep. I stole quietly into the family room to watch a bit of TV. I landed on a program, a biography of Julia Child. Up until this point I knew very little of the famous chef except for her quirky voice.
By the end of the program I was crying in the dark room. Julia Child had an entire life as a wife and mother before her world-changing career. While, I may be one of the only people who have never seen the movie Julie and Julia, perhaps the movie touches on the same theme that brought such inspiration to me. I was surprisingly moved by Julia’s story of finding her influence later in life. It hit me hard and my unexpected tears informed me of something in my heart I needed to listen to.
I was inspired by learning that Julia started by taking cooking classes. She didn’t start with a TV show or a best-selling cookbook. And so, taking my inspiration from Julia, I did the same. I just started. I gave myself grace to do only what was in front of me. Some days it was all children, all family, all groceries, cleaning and laundry. Yet I began to carve out time for myself, slowly at first, but it grew as my family grew.
Today I no longer feel isolated or sorry for myself. Rather I celebrate the fact that as women living in our generation we really can have it all. Maybe not all at the same time, but God willing, life is long and the possibilities are endless.
Shayne Moore, MA is the author of Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World Is Easier Than You Think. She supports and works closely with World Vision, ONE, World Relief and is a member of the World Vision Speakers Bureau. She sits on the board of directors of Growers First, an organization partnering with rural farmers to fight poverty. With an MA in theology, Shayne is an active speaker and writes for her blog (www.ShayneMoore.com) and is a founder of Redbud Writers Guild (www.redbudwritersguild.com). She lives with her husband, John, and three children in Wheaton, IL, and can be found at www.facebook.com/shayne.moore and on Twitter @GlobalSoccerMom. Look for her forthcoming book, Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power To Fight Modern Day Slavery (Intervarsity Press).
Sunday, April 1, 2012
By Tricia Halsey
I thought I knew myself.
For three years I worked hard doing a job I absolutely loved. I poured my heart into bringing about positive change for other women, yet all the while paying little attention to myself.
Then God got my attention. He pulled me out of my position and left me without a job. An intervention that made me stop, step back and reevaluate where I was and where I needed to be.
At first the achiever in me wanted to charge, full-steam ahead, into the next opportunity that seemed to be a good fit-that is until I realized I had no clue what a “good fit” actually looked like. I spent so many years letting others define who I was and what I was good at that, although I often excelled, I didn’t feel fulfilled. While caring for others and striving to achieve, I forgot me.
After three months of unemployment, I realized that God was saving me from this “not real” me. My soul was in decay because I was not living authentically as he created me to live.
How common is it for us women to shrug off the hard work of deep authentic living and go for what seems easier-- losing ourselves in doing good? It’s far harder to dig deep into our souls to unearth and understand our talents and strengths, weaknesses and sins, passions and dreams than it is to simply put our focus on others. Living authentically is hard work.
Please don’t miss this:
You were created by God to have unfathomable influence and impact in the world, yet you will never-not ever-come close to fulfilling your potential if you do not know yourself.
What a tragedy when your potential for impact is minimized!
Seeking to know who you are, as God created you, is not a pursuit you should brush off. It is a matter of properly positioning yourself to partner with God in his work of redemption for immeasurable-incomprehensible-impact. Never forget that God commissioned you to join with him in his work of redemption. He has plans for you, but you must actively engage with him as a steward of the talents he’s given to you. The results could be far bigger than you can comprehend.
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you feel uniquely gifted to do?
- What are your strengths?
- Even harder, what are your weaknesses, your fears and your unconfessed sins?
- How do all of these weave together with your experiences and personality to distinctively position you for life-giving work?
Discuss, reflect, pray and confess with people you trust. Utilize tools like personality and strengths assessments. Seek counseling and find mentors. Most importantly, ask God to reveal who you are and what you can do best. He created you. He knows you and the potential you have. He will help you as you seek to use your gifts, but you need to ask. And you need to be willing to do the hard work.
Tricia Halsey has her MA in Leadership from Denver Seminary and is passionate about developing leaders and coaching women to embrace and live according to their full God-given potential. She is a wife and mother of two very busy young boys.