I have a group of girlfriends I call the #livefree girls. They are women who are brave and who desire to live free in every aspect of their being. The other day we were having a conversation about who we are.
My friend, Cindy Krall, asked this:
If God knit me together, does He smile when I do it?
Hmm. Since God is my Creator, what does He think when I fully live in the way He made me? Does He love it when I appreciate His handiwork? Those questions followed me throughout my day.
He’s a unique God. Creative. Diverse. Yet I think we apologize a lot for the way He knitted us together.
I’m sorry I am too loud. I’m sorry I’m so quiet. I’m sorry I’m not that great of a leader. I’m sorry that I’m not like you.
What might happen if we started to celebrate the way He knitted us together instead?
We’d put ourselves out there
I’m a good listener. I love to laugh. I’ll jump on a roller coaster (I did last weekend), even if it’s going to beat me up and throw me upside down. I have good ideas. I love people. I can see the good in someone when they might not.
I love to pray, and worship takes me to the heart of the Father.
I’m goofy. I can’t tell a joke to save my life, but I really appreciate a great one. I laugh until I cry. I like mowing the lawn. I love planting and looking at flowers. When I’m at the Farmer’s Market and musicians play on the street corner, something inside of me want to dance. I’m an encourager. I’m a good team player. I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. I notice those who are unseen.
These aren’t necessarily resume busters, and there’s some negative I could sprinkle in there.
But this is me.
Those traits show up in some way in every role I play. So if I put myself out there, it means I’m not going to try to be like you. I’m going to be me in ministry, as a mom, with people, in my private life where only God gets to see.
It gets jacked up when I have tried to be something else, the textbook version of a leader or administrator or some other person who doesn’t live inside of me.
When I admit, “this is me,” it allows me to be genuine. I don’t feel like a failure or that I somehow don’t measure up to something or someone else.
We’d appreciate the way God made others
Maximizers make me nervous. Is it okay if I just say that? If you are a maximizer, your brain doesn’t work in the same way mine does. I’m hoping for a nap, and you’ve come up with ten different ways to reach the nations through social media. It’s not that I’m not great with ideas. I am. But you take those ideas and rock the world with them.
I’m a good team player and encourager. Put a hammer in my hand or let me encourage the troops, and I’m your girl.
But we need maximizers and number crunchers and administrators and prayer warriors and those who serve behind the scenes. When we all bring our unique selves to the table, something pretty incredible happens.
We’d fine tune the traits we don’t like
With every strength, there’s a weaker side to it. My empathy can make me a fixer.
Your leadership qualities can lead to bossiness.
Those servant qualities can make you struggle to say no.
That doesn’t give us permission to say, “Hey, this is me, get over it. It’s who I am.”
Every strength has a basement. For me, because empathy can also lead to trying to fix others, I have to be self-aware, but thank goodness I also have the help of the Holy Spirit.
What is the basement of your strength? Has it made you dislike your strength or hide it? What would it look like to tune it up?
I’m excited about today’s #livefreeThursday conversation. We’re going to get to know each other a little better.
This is me, friends. Roller coaster, fixer-upper recoverer, rah-rah girl, a woman who loves to laugh and who loves Jesus. I’m far from perfect, but God knit me together.
You are beautifully knit together. Share one thing about you that I might not know.
I can’t wait to get to know you better!
I’d love to introduce you to one of my #livefree friends, Cindy Krall. I first met her at She Speaks. She’s beautiful. She’s funny. She’s tender hearted.
She’s a DoAhead woman who shows us how to live prepared, but she does it in an original way that I adore.
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I have never thought about my strengths in this way Suzie but it is so true … every strength has a basement! We need to be aware of the potential basement we can find ourselves in by just being us. I think for me it is definitely the basement of becoming too busy from my strength of being a helper at heart.
Thanks for this thought!
Sometimes what we see as our greatest weakness is actually the basement of our greatest strength. Knowing that helps us to fine tune it and see it emerge as strong. <3 Sarah, you are such a team player and your smiling face is so welcome wherever you go.
You are a special human being and I’m glad I get to know you.
I am definitely evolving by the minute but one thing that has remained the same about me is I am apologetically EXTROVERTED. I love people: little, big, old, and young. This is a positive and a negative for me, but it is definitely me. Glad to link up with you today! – Be blessed. – Kia
Suzie, I love this! There are so many things about myself that I often view as faults, but are definitely part of my God-given uniqueness. I am extremely passionate. When I’m in, I’m completely in. No holding back. I don’t like to do things unless I know I can succeed. This holds me back sometimes from jumping in. I love the way this made me think. I will definitely be mulling this over today. Thank you for reminding us that we all have something to offer and it does not look the same. What a beautiful characteristic of the body of Christ. Thank you for encouraging us to #livefree. I am sharing about asking God “why” this week because I am an analyzer and fixer too. Sometimes I ask God lots of questions. Love you and appreciate you, Suzie! Love & Blessings, Micah
Thank you, Micah. I know there are tons of communities out there and I see your face in many of them. You are definitely passionate about your words and I love that about you. Keep writing. Keep that passion on the front burner. Keep running after what God is speaking over your heart. It’s uniquely you and it’s pretty awesome.
Suzie, there is such freedom in these words! I’ve struggled my whole life and often apologize for who I am. I too, like Sarah above, am gleaning from the the statement that every strength has a basement. It does. And wisdom from God’s word helps be be alert to the basements. I focus on controlling those basements, like my bossiness. But today, I want to embrace the me that God beautifully knit together! I simply want to look in the mirror and say Lord, with You, I am all beautiful! I am a leader, a nurturer, an encourager, a food loving girl her tries hard to stay fit, at least into her jeans. I am a friend who loves to spread joy because I love to see smiles and I love to see girls heal. It’s not my first nature to climb trees and hike trails but when I let my gaurd down I absolutely love to and I’m a water bug! Put me near a lake, the ocean, a river, a stream and this Jesus girl is one happy, happy person! I love Cindy Krall, the Do Ahead Woman! There are so many beautiful #livefree girls here!
I love our community, Jodie. I’m so glad you are a part. You are a people lover, a nurturer, a cheerleader.
I’m also a waterbug. There’s nothing that makes me happier than being in water and around water.
Boy, I needed to read this today! So often we look at our unique qualities as weaknesses, but God designed our qualities with specific purpose. It’s difficult to think of ourselves and our special traits this way, but it’s certainly bringing a smile to my face today. Thank you for stretching us this morning and giving us a practical way to grasp how God sees us – wonderful!
This is me:
Maximizer (yea, hope you still love me!)
I’ll love ya, hug ya and wanna be your best friend-did you notice the execution and strategic qualities listed? Ha – cuz there aren’t any in my top five! Influence and Relationships. Hug. Hug. Hug!
Suzie, thanks for introducing us to Cindy! Susan
I do still love you. I’m surrounded by Woo’s and Maximizers at Proverbs, so this is a familiar combination. I also love that we share positivity.
For those of you who are wondering what in the world we are talking about, these are Strengthfinder’s traits/strengths.
I am messy. My desk. My craft room. My closet. It is often how I thrive creatively. On the rare occasion that I clean up my literal messes, I feel stifled. Sometimes I make a mess, just to get my juices flowing. I bet you didn’t know that! It is a proven down side of having a creative brain, so I will take it! Thanks for helping us embrace who we are here in this safe space! <3
Liz, I have to have one clean room in the house. It doesn’t have to all be clean and sweet clutter doesn’t mess with my world, but I have to have that one room where I can look around and just take a deep breath. We are so uniquely different, aren’t we? I love that you make a mess to get your creative juices going! I can see the correlation. <3
My bedroom is this place for me. The rest of the house can be in chaos, as long as my bed is made and in a state of order. Even when my house is clean, my desk is still shamefully cluttered!
divinely knit … oohh, that calms my soul, helps things make sense, fills me with gratitude right about now. thanks, Suzie …
Isn’t it a beautiful thought?
Oh Suzie, you put a smile on my face today. I learned some things I didn’t know about you! This brings to mind what my attitude should be towards the people in my life: “I’ll be me, and you be you!”
I’m a leader, and yes I can be bossy. But sometimes fear of this makes me sit on my hands and be quiet. Hard to know when to step in and help a situation along and when to just be quiet. I really don’t want to take over. And yes, I also relate to being an emphathizer that can turn into a fixer. I’m learning to let God do that.
I appreciate the conversation today.
This whole chapter is a favorite and I love how you’ve fleshed it out. I think I’m too often aware of my basements and don’t really praise God for my gifts. I process as I speak it and love to teach. Love. Thank you for your site and consistent encouragement!
So very good. Each of us divinely knit, and together we all create one amazing picture of our Father.
Suzie, I love how you wrote, “I’m sorry I am too loud. I’m sorry I’m so quiet. I’m sorry I’m not that great of a leader. I’m sorry that I’m not like you.” You nailed it. If God made us that way why do we feel we should be something else? I enjoyed who your list of who you are. You sound like the friend everyone wants.
Oh Debbie, thank you. What a kind thing to say.
Where do I start? So much in your post resonated, but I think the chord deepest struck was this…”in my private life where only God gets to see.” I couldn’t get away from that thought all week. Those precious moments that are nothing but intimate delight-knowing and loving someone simply for who they are-the pieces and parts no other person on the planet sees. He sees them…and loves them. Oh Suzie, it totally overwhelms me that God is like that. What. A. Gift.
I love that you are the one who started this conversation, Cindy. I wish you lived closer.
Well Suzie, are you sure you didn’t write this about me? Mercy. I have apologized for me so many times. Lord help us all to know, way down deep, that you love us just the way we are and that there are others that do too. And, that You can use us that way!
Loved your words today friend <3
Ahhhh Suzie! This post is JUST what I needed to read today. I suffer from fibromyalgia and I always find myself apologizing for it … And yet deep down inside I know my intimate relationship with pain has allowed me to empathize on a deeper level with people and I know God is using it for my good. This post is a great reminder to rejoice in the work that the Lord’s hands have made. Bless you!
You usher “relaxed” into the room, Suzie. Truly, the Lord is using you to bring women into their true identity, to be “real”. High-Fiving and “woot-wooting” for all the beautiful masterpieces called women out there, handcrafted by God. Love this today.
So much in my heart to say here. So many deep personal thoughts that I’m praying over. Thank you for these words. I believe God had me find you for a reason. I’m so grateful for your heart Suzie. Thank you!
Like you I’m more a behind the scenes sort. Yet work has trained me to be a leader and make decisions and communicate them to the troops. It’s kind of funny how at work I’m so different from how I am conform table being in the rest of my life.